"We are optimistic that Garuda would offer cross-subsidy service for passengers traveling to eastern Indonesia. If this service is not available, our community members in eastern Indonesia will have to bear more burden," Muhammad Aras stated.
Aras, a member of the House of Representatives' (DPR's) Commission V overseeing transport, telecommunications, public works, and public housing affairs, highlighted the dire need for affordable flight tickets in the run-up to the Christmas and New Year holiday season.
This legislator, representing the United Development Party (PPP) Faction, noted that most Indonesians residing in various cities in eastern Indonesia will usher in this year's Christmas and 2020 New Year's Eve.
To cater to the needs of community members to travel during the Christmas and New Year holiday season, Garuda Indonesia has prepared 2,495 additional seats and 967,771 regular seats.
A rise of two to three percent was expected in the total number of passengers traveling during this year-end's holiday season than that of last year, he stated, adding that Garuda Indonesia did not make preparations for additional flights this year.
In its place, this national airline will operate wide-bodied aircraft, such as Boeing 777 and Airbus 737. This decision was taken on the basis of operational efficiency.
In the meantime, train operator, PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI), had earlier announced its decision to operate 114 train trips daily to serve passengers during the Christmas and New Year holiday season.
"For this year, the transportation period for Christmas and New Year was made effective for 18 days. It begins on December 19, 2019, and ends on January 5, 2020," Executive Vice President of PT KAI's Jakarta Operational Area I, Dadan Rudiansyah, stated.
To cater to the requirements of passengers during the upcoming holiday season, PT KAI has also readied facilities and human resources to ensure journeys are smooth and safe.
PT KAI's Jakarta Operational Area I will also operate 13 additional trains for this year's Christmas and New Year's Eve. Eight of them will depart from Gambir Station, while five others will leave from Pasar Senen Station, Rudiansyah stated. Related news: Minister asks airlines to calculate air travel cost structure
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