Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 365,240 confirmed infections, 12,617 deaths (19 October 2020)
19 October 2020 (closed)
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Two international airlines will (temporarily) scrap flights to the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, located just outside Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta. French flag carrier Air France and Kuwait's national airline Kuwait Airways announced to stop flying to Indonesia's busiest airport starting from 28 March 2016. Reasons behind this decision are sluggish demand for flights to Jakarta, fleet rotation, and Garuda Indonesia's joining of the SkyTeam in March 2014.
Agus Haryadi, Company Secretary of Angkasa Pura II, the state-owned airport operator in the western part of Indonesia, said the company received an official letter from both airlines stating that flights of Air France and Kuwait Airways to the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (code CGK) will be discontinued per 28 March 2016 "due to commercial and fleet rotation [matters]". Haryadi added that he would not be surprised if more foreign airlines decide to stop flights to Jakarta. Ever since airlines across the world have started to join global alliances in the late 1990s (Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam), they have been eager to improve efficiency by offering joint flights.
For example, KLM (the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands) offers the Amsterdam-Jakarta flight with a stopover in Kuala Lumpur. As many air passengers disembark in Kuala Lumpur, the remaining passengers to Jakarta are carried by Garuda Indonesia. Both airlines are member of the Amsterdam-based SkyTeam, a global airline alliance with 20 members.
Susie Charma, Secretary General at Board of airlines Representative Indonesia (BAR Indonesia), said there should not be any major concern if more foreign airlines decide to stop flights to Jakarta. Charma says this would be a temporary phenomenon only. For example, Kuwait Airways will stop flights to Jakarta in March 2016 as it awaits the arrival of new airplanes (scheduled to arrive in April). As such, Charma expects Kuwait Airways is to return to Jakarta later this year because flights to Indonesia are still lucrative, particularly provided Indonesia's economic expansion will accelerate in 2016. For example, Royal Jordan Airlines, the flag carrier airline of Jordan, started to operate flights to and from Indonesia in late-December 2015. Previously Royal Jordan operated flights to Indonesia between 1992 and 2002. However, these were suspended for commercial reasons.