ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Govt allocates Rp 466b subsidy for airlines serving remote areas
The Transportation Ministry has allocated Rp 466 billion (US$35.9 million) in subsidies this year to airlines serving 217 routes to remote locations, as part of the government’s program to improve access to isolated areas across the country.
The ministry’s spokesperson, Julius Andravida Barata, said on Wednesday that almost half of the subsidies would be allocated to destinations in Papua.
“Around 20 percent of the budget will be used to subsidize routes in Sumatra, 16 percent for Kalimantan, 12 percent for Sulawesi and 6 percent for Maluku,” Barata told The Jakarta Post.
The fuel subsidies for the airlines are expected to help the carriers fly people to and from remote places as well as transport goods to and from those areas.
Last year, the ministry allocated Rp 300 billion to serve 170 remote destinations, 60 percent of which were in the east of the country.
Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan previously said that out of a total 217 isolated routes this year, 65 were new routes and were in the tender process.
In addition, the ministry has scrapped subsidies for 18 routes that used to serve remote places because they have now become commercial services.
“We are considering providing multiyear subsidies for airlines that win the tender. So we will just open the tender for flights to remote areas every three or five years, to help airlines meet the tender requirements,” Jonan said.
Meanwhile, the ministry’s director general for air transportation, Suprasetyo, said one of the requirements for airlines to be eligible to participate in the tender process was operating a minimum 10 aircraft with at least five owned by the airline.
“Any airlines wishing to participate in the tender process should meet this requirement. We have to ensure they are seriously running their businesses and we can monitor their operations,” Suprasetyo said.
He said, however, that he could not yet reveal the number of airlines that were interested in participating in the tender as the ministry was still preparing the documents.
Lion Group president director Edward Sirait said the group was still studying the remote destinations being offered by the ministry.
“We are still examining the routes and the infrastructure in the remote destinations, because Wings Air [Lion Air’s subsidiary] only operates ATRs, so we can only serve routes that can accommodate ATRs,” he said, referring to aircraft that it purchased from French aircraft maker ATR. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/04/09/govt-allocates-rp-466b-subsidy-airlines-serving-remote-areas.html#sthash.To9dxzy7.dpuf
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