INDONESIA’S air carrier industry is in dire need of the government’s incentive after the number of passengers plummeted amid fears over the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Indonesian National Air Carriers Association (INACA) stated.
INACA chairman Denon Prawiratmadja noted in a statement that the number of passengers had plunged sharply since March.
Prawiratmadja remarked that all airlines had reduced their flight routes and frequency by at least 50%.
“With uncertainty looming large over when the COVID-19 pandemic will end, the air transportation industry will record a further decline, and some might collapse and cease operations,” Prawiratmadja pointed out.
The Inaca chairman expounded that some airlines in an attempt to minimize financial losses had opted to suspend operations and lay off some workers, including the pilot, cabin crew, technician, and other workforce. To this end, INACA has urged the government to offer an incentive to save the industry.
“We need a delay in the payment of income tax, import duty on spare parts, navigation fee managed by state firm as well as discounted airport fee managed by the Transportation Ministry along with the extension of time period for simulator training and health checks for flight crew,” he stated.
Prawiratmadja affirmed that the industry eagerly awaits a swift response from the government to salvage the industry and to avoid layoffs.
“The impact is not only on the aviation industry itself but also on its supporting industries, both downstream and upstream, such as aircraft repair shops, ground handling, and travel agents,” he added. [photo special]