THE Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy encourages airlines to immediately fill the flight slot vacancies at a number of airports in the country following the government’s decision to close flights to and from China since Wednesday (05/02/2020).

According to the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy/Tourism and Creative Economy Agency Wishnutama Kusubandio at the Airlines Coordination Meeting at the Soesilo Soedarman Hall, Sapta Pesona Building, Jakarta said, the existence of travel warnings and flight restrictions related to the spread of the corona virus had a negative impact on the aviation industry and also tourism.

“Everyone is affected because of this problem. We both listen, accept input and find solutions. How can we see the opportunity going forward,” said Wishnutama.

The Airlines Coordination Meeting was also attended by Managing Director of Angkasa Pura I Faik Fahmi, Managing Director of Angkasa Pura II Muhammad Awaluddin, Managing Director of Garuda Indonesia Irfan Sebuahutra and 33 representatives of airlines operating in Indonesia.

Wishnutama said the government would provide stimulants in the form of incentives given to airlines that fill empty flight slots at a number of airports in the country.

The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy plans to provide promotional assistance by making bundled packages of flights, accommodation and attractions at competitive prices, in collaboration with Online Travel Agents (OTA) and also Travel Agents/Tour Operators (TA/TO). It also provides promotional assistance with a joint promotion scheme.

“We are asked by the President to provide solutions to the effects of this corona virus. We have also communicated with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises and the Ministry of Transportation to resolve this issue,” he added.

While Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi explained, the government was not only discussing problems and impacts, but was looking for ways to fill the empty slots that had been used by airlines from China.

The Ministry of Transportation itself will endeavor to provide incentives in the form of reduced slots permit fees, route permits, and flight permits with the approval of the Minister of Finance.

“This is an opportunity for all of us to collaborate. For example Bali, many airlines from Eastern Europe who want to fly but the problem so far is the unavailability of slots. Therefore, we see opportunities everywhere enthusiastic countries to go to Indonesia,” Budi Karya said.

Likewise with the Managing Director of Angkasa Pura I Faik Fahmi explained, as the manager of the Bali International Airport, his party has a number of slots that are indeed in demand by various airlines who want to fly to Bali.

“We will prioritize the addition of international flights which have already submitted applications to us. In Bali take-off landing per hour is 30 flights. And we can increase it to 32 flights,” Faik Fahmi concluded.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of AP II Muhammad Awaluddin also explained, as the manager of Soekarno Hatta International Airport, his office estimated that there were 20-25 empty slots in one day that could be immediately utilized by airlines. []