Commercial flights' move from Jakarta's airport may be delayed

Commercial flights' move from Jakarta's airport may be delayed
The arrival queue at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta.

JAKARTA - The relocation of commercial flights from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng, Banten, just outside Jakarta, to Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta may be delayed, as several airlines are not ready to move their operations on the scheduled opening date of Jan. 10.

"At this point, we haven't decided when we will open the scheduled commercial flights at Halim airport, because this is related to public services and we have to ensure passengers' safety. We do not feel compelled to open the scheduled commercial flights only to provide a messy service," Transportation Ministry's Air Transportation director general Herry Bakti Gumay said on Friday.

Herry said that the ministry would meet with all stakeholders including the airport management and the airlines to check on the final preparations of the relocation next week.

"The preparations of the support facilities are currently 80 per cent complete. The operation mostly depends on the readiness of the airlines," he said.

According to Herry, there are only three airlines, namely national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, low-cost carriers Citilink Indonesia and Air Asia that are still interested in moving some of their domestic flight services to Halim airport.

Previously, the Lion Group's low cost airline, Lion Air, and full-service Batik Air, as well as budget carrier Tigerair Mandala were also planning to move some of their flight services to Halim.

"Three airlines are basically enough. Halim is a small airport. It cannot handle too many flights," Herry said.

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