Airlines to charge passengers more

To help cushion growing burdens on domestic airline operators due to increasing operational costs, the government has endorsed a proposal from the Indonesian National Air Carrier Association (INACA) to charge air passengers more.

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Passengers will incur additional fees that will vary among airliners depending on the distance of their flights. Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang S. Ervan confirmed the government’s endorsement of the proposal, which the INACA is calling a “surcharge” scheme.

According to Bambang, the new scheme will come into effect soon and its implementation will be assessed once every three months.

Bambang, however, refused to comment on the details of the new scheme as it had yet to be signed by Transportation Minister EE Mangindaan. The regulator is also still in the middle of discussions with some consumer protection organizations.

Bambang ensured that the additional charges would be lower than those calculated by the INACA.

“We are here not only to protect operators but also passengers. Thus, we are making some adjustments so that the additional costs do not burden air travelers,” he said, adding that the surcharge between large aircraft — such as Boeings and Airbuses — and smaller planes — such as Avions de Transport Régional ATR 42s or ATR 72s — would be different.

The country is currently implementing the ceiling price mechanism (Transportation Ministerial Decree no. 26/2010), in which the formula is based on calculations from over three years ago.

For example, the maximum price for the Jakarta–Medan route (1,495 kilometers) is set at Rp 1.847 million (US$153.3), while Jakarta–Semarang (473 kilometers) and Jakarta–Jayapura (4,414 kilometers) are set at Rp 898,000 and Rp 5.253 million, respectively.

Those prices exclude the 10 percent value-added tax, insurance and passenger service charges as well as airport tax.

Sources: The Jakarta Post | Author: Nurfika Osman

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