ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
AirAsia Surabaya-Singapore service given approval at Singapore end
SINGAPORE: The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Changi Airport Group (CAG) have clarified that airlines need to obtain separate approvals for flights from respective civil aviation authorities at each end of a route.
They said in a joint statement on Saturday (Jan 3) that Indonesia AirAsia's Surabaya-Singapore service has been given approval at Singapore's end.
Replying to media queries, they said before "an airline can launch a service between two points, it needs to obtain approval of its flight schedules from the respective civil aviation authorities at each end of its flight routing separately.
"The airline’s application will be considered by each civil aviation authority, taking into account the air traffic rights available under the relevant air services agreements (ASA) and the availability of airport take-off and landing slots from the respective slot coordinators," the statement added.
It said that on Singapore's end, Indonesia AirAsia had applied to operate a daily flight between Surabaya and Singapore for the Northern Winter Season from Oct 26, 2014 to Mar 28, 2015, arriving at Changi Airport at 8.30am (Singapore time) and departing for Surabaya at 2.10pm (Singapore time).
"These daily flights were approved as there were available air traffic rights under the bilateral ASA and the slots at Changi Airport were available," the statement said.
It added that Indonesia AirAsia was operating the flight four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, adding that airlines may adjust their flight frequencies in the course of a season in response to market demand or operational requirements.
The clarification came after Indonesia's transport ministry said on Saturday that the AirAsia plane that crashed last weekend was flying on an unauthorised schedule, and it had now frozen the airline's approval to fly the route.
Flight QZ8501 crashed into the Java Sea with 162 people on board en route from Indonesia's second city Surabaya to Singapore early Sunday, at a flight time that had not been cleared by officials, said director general of air transport Djoko Murjatmodjo.
"It violated the route permit given, the schedule given, that's the problem," he told AFP. "AirAsia's permit for the route has been frozen" until investigations were completed. We will carry out an audit or an evaluation on all airlines in Indonesia over whether there are any violations related to route, time and schedule," he said.
A statement from transport ministry spokesman J.A Barata said AirAsia was not permitted to fly the Surabaya-Singapore route on Sundays and had not asked to change its schedule.
Rough weather has in recent days hampered the search for the plane, which is believed to be in relatively shallow water of around 25 to 32 metres. So far 30 bodies and various items of debris have been recovered.
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