Indonesian airlines slash fares after outcry over holiday surge

JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG) – Indonesian airlines reduced air fares for some local routes by as much as 60 per cent starting last week in response to a backlash over a surge in ticket prices during the peak holiday season.

PT Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air and PT AirAsia Indonesia are among the carriers which cut prices from Jan 11, the Indonesian National Air Carrier Association said in a statement on Sunday (Jan 13).

Ticket prices on the Jakarta-Denpasar, Jakarta-Yogyakarta and Jakarta-Surabaya routes were slashed between 20 per cent and 60 per cent, I Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra, chairman of the association, told reporters in Jakarta.

The airlines are planning to drop fares for more routes following a commitment by state-owned airport operators, air navigation agency and PT Pertamina, which supplies jet fuel, to lower logistics and navigation costs, the association said.

The price cuts may make air travel affordable to more Indonesians and contribute to the nation’s economic and infrastructure growth, it said.

The association, which also comprises cargo carriers and chartered operators, will not compromise on flight and passenger safety with the reduction in fares, Danadiputra, who is also the president-director of Garuda, said.

A Lion Air jet plunged into the Java Sea last year, killing all 189 on board, in the nation’s worst aviation disaster in two decades.