Jakarta cuts S'pore-Bandung AirAsia flights

Jakarta cuts S'pore-Bandung AirAsia flights

There are now fewer flights between Singapore and Bandung, following a decision by the Indonesian authorities to suspend three of the 21 weekly services operated by Indonesia AirAsia.

Instead of three times a day, the carrier now flies twice a day between the two cities, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, The Straits Times found out.

The affected flights are QZ367, which leaves Bandung at 7.25pm local time and arrives at Changi Airport at 10.15pm, and the return service, QZ368.

Alternative arrangements on other carriers will be made for passengers with confirmed bookings.

Confirming the "temporary" suspension, a spokesman for the carrier said it is to facilitate "further evaluation" by regulators.

The airline is working closely with the authorities in this process, she added.

Last week, the Indonesian Transport Ministry ordered Indonesia AirAsia to stop all flights between Surabaya and Singapore, and said it would check all other routes operated by the airline.

This was after the ministry uncovered that the airline had been operating the Surabaya-Singapore route on Sundays, without the necessary permits.

This included the QZ8501 flight on Dec 28 which took off amid rough weather and ended up in the Java Sea, presumably killing all 162 who were on board.

Indonesia AirAsia had approval to operate only four flights a week, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the ministry said.

According to Singapore's civil aviation regulator, before an airline can operate a route, it must obtain separate approval from the authorities at both ends.

When Indonesia AirAsia applied to the Singapore side for approval to operate the Surabaya-Singapore sector, this was granted based on available traffic rights under the air deal with Indonesia and landing slots at Changi Airport.

The government review has also resulted in the airline being ordered to cease operating at least five key domestic sectors, including from Surabaya to Jakarta.

"I won't be surprised if there are more suspensions in the coming days," an insider said.

The probe has also resulted in the suspension of seven officials in Indonesia over their suspected links to the unscheduled flight approvals.

The seven were two from the Transport Ministry, two from Surabaya's international airport operator Angkasa Pura I, and three from state navigation operator AirNav Indonesia.

Apart from Surabaya and Bandung, Indonesia AirAsia also flies to Singapore from Semarang, Jakarta, Bali and Yogyakarta.

Before the suspensions, the airline was operating 176 flights a week to and from Indonesia and Singapore.


This article was first published on Jan 08, 2015.
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