29 July 2009

Indonesia is Not Yet Free from The EU's Flight Ban

Indonesia is actually not yet free from the European Union’s flight ban if seen from the state certification aspect, an observer said. "From the aspect of state certification, Indonesia is not yet free from the EU ban because formerly it was a ban on the state as a consequence of the ban imposed on all its airlines," aviation observer Bachrul Hakim said here on Thursday.

The observer made the remarks in connection with the lifting of the ban on four Indonesian airlines since July 15, 2009. The four airlines, namely which consist of Garuda Indonesia, Manadala, Airfast and PremiAir, are now allowed to fly again over the European air space. Bachrul said that from the certification aspect, Indonesia still had homework to accomplish.

"The ban for 48 other airlines in Indonesia should also be lifted, although they have to undergo recertification first," he said. In the meantime, national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has no plan to move forward its initial schedule to fly to Europe early in 2010, its president director Emirsyah Satar said.

"It will not be realistic if the plan to reopen the routes to Europe is sped up because doing so will take 6 to 9 months to prepare," he told the press after attending a briefing on the lifting of the European Union’s ban on Indonesian airline flights to Europe.

The briefing on the lifting of the flight ban for four Indonesian airlines to Europe was done by European Commission ambassador Julisan Wilson and was also attended by Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal. Satar said that in reopening its routes to Europe, Garuda would select three main flight routes, namely to Amsterdam, Frankfurt and London.

The preparations included cooperation with international airlines in the provision of flight services. "The market share is big and the trend of European visits to Indonesia continues to increase from year to year. We are ready to compete with foreign airlines. Our airplanes are already ready now," he said.

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