CAAS hopes affected SIA flights to Jakarta can be restored

CAAS hopes affected SIA flights to Jakarta can be restored

The Singapore aviation authorities say they hope flights by Singapore Airlines affected by a runway upgrade at Jakarta's main airport can be restored, while a new route to Sydney from the Indonesian capital can start as soon as possible.

In a statement yesterday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said it has asked for more details from the Indonesian authorities on how the runway upgrading has affected the airport's capacity and other carriers.

It added that it hopes to receive the information quickly so it can find ways to reschedule SIA's services "without the need for any cancellations".

The Indonesian civil aviation authorities had requested that SIA temporarily adjust the frequency of its weekly services on the Singapore-Jakarta route from 63 to 58 with effect from Dec 1. The airline had been operating 63 weekly services on the route since July 2013.

SIA had also delayed the launch of a new route linking Singapore, Jakarta and Sydney, which CAAS said would have facilitated people and trade flows between these cities.

This was because of work being done at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to reinforce its North runway.

Indonesia's state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II told The Straits Times last month that the upgrading was aimed at allowing wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing 777 to carry a maximum load.

Mr Agus Haryadi, corporate secretary and head of legal affairs at Angkasa Pura II, also said the upgrading work would affect 51 flights, but some of those services - by Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Wings Air and Batik Air - were diverted to the South runway.

Garuda and Lion Air, however, said at the time that they were not affected by the maintenance work.

The Indonesian embassy in Singapore confirmed in a letter published in The Straits Times Forum page yesterday that Garuda, Emirates, Oman Air, Jetstar Asia Airways, Sriwijaya Airlines, Lion Mentari Airlines, MY Indo Airlines and Batik Air are affected.

"We hope that the runway maintenance works will be completed expeditiously, and that the impact on airlines will be fairly distributed across all carriers," said the CAAS statement.

Singapore and Indonesia were each other's biggest source of tourist arrivals in 2015. CAAS said the two countries "have a long and deep relationship at all levels and enjoy mutually-beneficial cooperation in many areas including in the aviation and tourism sectors".

"Both governments also have a common interest in strengthening and expanding air connectivity to facilitate tourism, investment and business linkages," said CAAS.

This article was first published on Dec 10, 2016.
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