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Flights to Wangbe, Papua stops after Susi Air hostage situation

Tempo - March 16, 2021

Antara, Andita Rahma, Jakarta – Head of the Ilaga Airport, Herman Sujito, said that flights to Wangbe in the Puncak Regency, Papua, is currently still closed after a the pilots and three passengers of a Susi Air commercial flight was briefly held hostage by a local Papuan armed criminal group (KKB) in Friday last week.

Herman said that the temporary closure is unspecified and will constantly be updated according to the developments in the area.

Wangbe is one of the destinations for chartered and starter planes where its services are controlled by the Airport Administration Unit (Upbu) of Timika, Papua.

The PK-BVY Susi Air flight was approached by armed groups after it landed in the Wangbe airport on Friday morning of March 12. The armed men requested the pilots of the plane to not carry police and army (TNI) personnel but after a negotiation with the armed men by one of the passengers the pilot and passengers were able to fly back to Timika.

According to officials, the area where the Susi Air plane landed did not have any police posts or police headquarters. The Puncak Police headquarters currently only has three police sectors in Ilaga, Sinak, an Bioga.

The Papua Police Spokesperson Grand Commissioner Ahmad Mustofa Kamal previously said that four hostages were released by the armed men after being taken as hostages for two hours.

"They are in good condition and none of them were hurt and were not robbed," said Commissioner Kamal in a statement on Saturday, March 12.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1442647/flights-to-wangbe-papua-stops-after-susi-air-hostage-situatio