Indonesian airlines to be more competitive after complying with EU regulations

Indonesian airlines to be more competitive after complying with EU regulations

Garuda Indonesia's Boeing B-777-300 fleet. (ANTARA FOTO/Muhammad Iqbal)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia's airline industry is eyeing to become more competitive in the global aviation market after the European Commission removed all Indonesian air carriers from the EU Air Safety list.

"This is a beginning to start to become competitive," Indonesian Minister of Transportation, Budi Sumadi, said during a press conference here on Friday evening.

The European Union stated on Thursday that all airlines certified in Indonesia have been removed from the list, following further improvements to aviation safety in Indonesia.

All Indonesian carriers were put on the EU Air Safety List in 2007 due to unaddressed safety concerns.

Over the past years, a number of airlines, including the flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, Airfast Indonesia, Ekspress Transportasi Antarbenua, Indonesia Air Asia, Citilink, Lion Air, and Batik, were removed, but the bulk of Indonesian carriers remained on the list until Thursday.

Following Thursday's update, the remaining 55 Indonesian airlines have been certified to meet European air safety regulations, involving 62 air carriers in total, Sumadi said.

"The repeal of the ban means that we, the regulator and operators, are considered to have fulfilled all international regulations," he said.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, said that the clearing showed that years of hard work, diplomacy and close cooperation have paid off.

"This is a result of years of hard work. Without good collaboration it would have been difficult for us to achieve this," Marsudi said.

It also reflected international trust in Indonesian air carriers, and is expected to promote the country's tourism industry and people to people contacts, she said.

The press conference, held during an open house for the Idul Fitri celebration at  Sumadi's house, was also attended by Ambassador of the European Union to Indonesia and to Brunei Darussalam, Vincent Guerend, and Director General of Air Transport of the Ministry of Transportation, Agus Santoso.

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