Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has issued instructions to the Minister of Transportation, Hatta Radjasa, to impose stiff sanctions and punishments on any national airline found to be ignoring safety procedures in the rush to sell cheap tickets.
Quoted in the Indonesian language Bisnis Bali, the President said, "I have asked the Department of Transportation to impose penalties on airline companies found to be breaking the rules." The President said that the desire to sell "cheap tickets" is no excuse for any Indonesian airline to scrimp on issues of passenger safety.
Give Garuda and Merpati a Hand?
When making his pronouncement on air safety standards, the President also gave verbal instructions to the Minister for State-Owned Enterprises, Sugiharto, to help state-owned airlines rebuild and restructure. While not specifically naming the airlines he wished helped, the President's comments are widely accepted to have been directed at assisting debt-ridden Garuda Indonesia and Merpati Nusantara.
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