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Indonesia needs 350 more aircraft to make airfare more affordable

Jakarta Globe - March 14, 2024

Fito Akhmad Erlangga, Jakarta – Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno highlighted the need for Indonesia to acquire up to 350 more airplanes to alleviate ticket prices.

Ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday in April, airplane ticket prices and other modes of transportation have seen a surge of approximately 10 to 12 percent.

"We have reported the surge in ticket prices to the President. There will be further steps taken," Sandiaga told reporters at the Presidential Palace complex on Wednesday.

Sandiaga elaborated that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo had tasked him with increasing the number of aircraft. He noted that Indonesia currently lacks around 300 to 350 aircraft. Thus, the addition of aircraft is expected to enhance seat availability, thereby making ticket prices relatively more affordable.

"We need to bring them in as soon as possible. With the addition of flights, seat availability will increase, and ticket prices will become more affordable," he emphasized.

According to data from the Transportation Ministry as of December 2022, Indonesia possesses more than 500 aircraft, with Lion Air dominating with 112 airplanes and Garuda Indonesia with 87 airplanes. However, this number falls short of the pre-pandemic era in 2018, which saw more than 700 aircraft.

As a temporary measure, Sandiaga encouraged the public to book their holiday tickets in advance to avoid increased transportation costs before Eid.

"Don't wait until the last minute because prices will increase. Make sure all plans are made in the first week of Ramadan," he advised.

He also intends to offer various options to early travelers, such as working from home or the destination during their travels.

"We encourage workers to leave early so they can get affordable tickets, and then work-from-destination or work-from-home," he added.

In addition to advising travelers, Sandiaga also hopes that businesses or companies with strong financial capabilities can disburse Eid bonuses to their employees earlier.

A survey conducted by the Transportation Ministry reveals that an estimated 193.6 million people, equivalent to approximately 71.7 percent of Indonesia's population, are anticipated to embark on the Eid exodus this year. This represents a significant increase of 56.4 percent compared to the movement observed during the 2023 Eid, which was estimated at 123.8 million people.

The estimated peak day for homecoming, based on public preferences, is Monday, April 8, with a potential movement of 26.6 million people (13.7 percent). The estimated peak return day is Sunday, April 14 with a potential movement of 41 million people (21.2 percent).

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/business/indonesia-needs-350-more-aircraft-to-make-airfare-more-affordabl