We hope other local governments will do the same.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has invited regional governments to collaborate on providing stimulus for reopening more flights to their respective regions in order to revive the aviation sector following the pandemic.

He made the appeal during a coordination meeting on the “Implementation of Air Transportation Connectivity and Local Government Support” here on Tuesday.

He said that his ministry has made a number of efforts to assist the aviation sector.

The assistance has included the stimulus for aircraft passenger services (PJP2U) and the non-tax state revenue (PNBP) fee exemption for aircraft landing, parking, and storing services (PJP4U) at airports managed by the ministry.

A number of local governments have also taken concrete steps to provide the stimulus, such as the government of Toraja district, the minister noted.

The district government guaranteed passenger seat occupancy by implementing seat blocking for around 60–70 percent of the total available seats.

Sumadi said that the Toraja district government cooperated with the South Sulawesi provincial government to carry out the policy.

"The seat blocking is usually implemented for three to four months. We hope other local governments will do the same," he added.

Furthermore, regional government officials could also commit to using air transportation as one of the efforts to recover the aviation sector, he said.

In addition, local governments could subsidize aircraft operating costs (BOP).

Besides encouraging regional governments to provide a stimulus, the minister also asked airport operators and airlines to keep improving their flights, including by increasing operating hours and the number of flights at several airports.

However, he noted that there are new challenges in the aviation sector, which need to be resolved together, although the number of COVID-19 cases has declined, the pandemic has been mitigated, and travel requirements have been eased.

The new challenges include inadequate air fleets in the midst of increasing demand, rising avtur prices, as well as the depreciation of the Indonesian rupiah against the American dollar, which has sent flight operating costs surging.

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Translator: Adimas Fahky, Uyu Liman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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