AviationPresident keen to see domestic airfares fall but barriers are high, says transport minister.

Is Indonesia ready to open up to foreign airlines?

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Garuda Indonesia has defended the cost of domestic air tickets.
Garuda Indonesia has defended the cost of domestic air tickets.

Domestic travellers have been complaining about the rising cost of airfares, and a nationwide petition calling for change, included the statement, "The unusual increase in domestic airfares is in contrast to the rise of ticket promos abroad offered by foreign airlines, hence Indonesians prefer to vacation abroad rather than inside the country."

Indonesian president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has suggested that foreign airlines should be allowed to serve domestic routes across the country to help push down airfares.

But the idea has not gone down well with Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, who told kompas.com, “We will not easily accept all foreign airlines. Our aviation industry must still have high [standards]. Therefore, we are studying the proposal and we will report [the results of a study] to the president before making a decision.”

Budi said foreign airlines had to fulfil tough requirements to operate in the country, covering Indonesian majority ownership, safety and security.

Budi said that those requirements were not easily fulfilled by foreign airlines. “Aviation is a tight business with tough requirements,” he added. 

Domestic travellers have been complaining about the rising cost of airfares, and a nationwide petition calling for change, included the statement, "The unusual increase in domestic airfares is in contrast to the rise of ticket promos abroad offered by foreign airlines, hence Indonesians prefer to vacation abroad rather than inside the country."

And earlier this year, a Garuda Indonesia public relations senior manager said the national flag carrier's ticket price range was in line with the transportation ministry's regulation.

"In terms of fares, we always follow the regulation; never surpass the maximum airfare,” the spokesman said.


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