Indonesian aviation industry to rebound: transport minister
Jakarta (ANTARA) – Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has predicted that the aviation industry, both domestically and globally, will soon surge amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister made the statement during his panel discussion on “Reviving Aviation, Rebuilding Connection” as part of the Changi Aviation Summit 2022 series of activities in Singapore on Tuesday.
The minister noted that the aviation industry in several countries will recover, although the time and speed of recovery will vary depending on the characteristics of the geographical area and the policies of each country.
“I am optimistic that the aviation industry in Indonesia will rebound in the near future, given that Indonesia is an archipelagic country that needs connectivity through air transport,” Sumadi noted at the event, tuesday.
The Minister then drew attention to several indicators supporting the revival of the Indonesian aviation sector, including 70% of air transport passengers being domestic travellers, high vaccination rates, a decrease in the number of cases of COVID- 19, an easing of travel restrictions and an increase in public demand for air travel.
This year’s reunion period also provides momentum for the revival of the domestic aviation industry after being hit by the pandemic. The 2022 homecoming period has become a challenge for the aviation industry to meet strong public demand amid a decline in the number of operating aircraft fleets from 550 to around 350 aircraft.
“We need to think outside the box to find the best scenario for returning home, especially a safe trip, and minimize the inconvenience,” he remarked.
To this end, the Indonesian government had optimized flight operations from five times a day to eight take-off landings, using jumbo jets for domestic flights on congested routes, increasing airport operating hours and services air navigation up to 18-24 hours, and ensure that the safety aspect is respected by carrying out ground checks of aircraft and health checks of flight personnel.
In addition, the government has offered several incentives to support the aviation industry, including boosting flight calibration navigation facilities at 44 airports and 100 air navigation facilities, offering subsidies in the form of public service obligations (OSP) to 168 airports, and other types of financial assistance in the form of foreign loans and grants, as well as a relaxation of non-tax revenue payments.
Based on data from Traveler 2022, during the reunion period, some 2.9 million passenger movements were recorded, or 82 percent of the number of travelers recorded in 2019, Sumadi said.
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“It also shows that the optimization of the aircraft fleet has been effectively carried out to cope with the influx of passengers,” the minister noted.
He also expressed hope that the strong passenger demand during the homecoming period will continue, becoming a turning point for the revival of the domestic aviation industry.
“I hope this sharing can be helpful for other countries to revive their aviation industry,” Sumadi said.
The Transport Minister further noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the aviation industry in Indonesia. When a comparison was drawn, in 2019 the number of air passengers reached 117 million per year, while in 2020 the figure had fallen to 43 million per year, and in 2021 it fell again to 35 million people a year. In 2022, it is expected to increase to 78 million people per year.
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