• Breaking News

    Saturday, December 13, 2014

    Govt Offers Landing Fee Cut for Wide-Bodied Aircraft

    Tobapos -- The government has offered a 50 percent landing fee for wide-bodied aircraft in a bid to optimize the use of airspace.

    Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan said here on Friday that the landing fee cut for wide-bodied aircraft such as Boeing 777 or Airbus 330 could optimize the use of airspace that has been getting more and more congested.

    "(It is) for optimizing airspace. Many routes such as the Jakarta-Surabaya one have become congested," he said while addressing newsmen at the transportation ministry compound.

    The minister predicted the policy could reduce congestion by 50 percent at large airports such as Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport, Juanda airport in Surabaya, Ngurah Rai in Denpasar, Sultan Hasanuddin in Makassar, and Biak's airport in Papua.

    "Small aircraft can only carry 100 to 150 passengers while large ones can accommodate up to 300 passengers. The Jakarta-Surabaya route is served by 40 flights every half an hour. If the route is served by large aircraft, only 20 flights will need to operate between the airports," he explained.

    Jonan noted unless airspace congestion is not solved, additional investment cannot be made for extending runways, air navigation changes, and other purposes.

    "That will take time while airlines' needs, for small and large aircraft alike, to take off and land cannot be withheld," he added.

    The minister revealed he has sent a circular about the offer to Angkasa Pura I and II and airport operators.

    According to him, the offer is not binding and it will depend upon the capacity of airline companies and business-to-business deals with AP I and II.

    "Business is not my affairs. There is no pressure involved. The implementation of a 50-percent landing fee for wide-bodied aircraft will go ahead (despite complaint)," he stressed.

    The operational director of Garuda Indonesia, Herupratomo, observed that wide-bodied aircraft are more suitable for long-haul flights of more than seven flight hours on regional and international routes.

    He pointed out that a lot of factors, such as load factor and aviation turbine (avtur) fuel consumption, have to be considered before deciding to shift from narrow to wide-bodied aircraft.

    "We will adjust it for the market. We cannot simply replace narrow-bodied aircraft to wide-bodied ones. For a short-haul flight, it is not economical," he added.

    AirAsia president director Sunu Widyatmoko shared his view saying he would not shift to wide-bodied aircraft as it would not be beneficial and would be against his company's business strategy.

    "Airline companies have different strategies and we will not use wide-bodied aircraft as our core business is short-haul flights covering less than four flight hours, meaning we will never change our aircraft," he said.

    He remarked that the question was not about having or not having wide-bodied aircraft, but about business strategy. In view of that, "the transportation ministry must consider airline companies' strategies as well," he affirmed. (ant/adm)

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