Indonesia must do modernization of the air transport sector to improve services in order to gain a significant potential in this business sector.
Improvement of equipments, infrastructures, and tariffs should be implemented. The Indonesian air transport business has a very significant market potential because currently less than 4 percent of Indonesian population (230 million people) travel by air.
In addition to that, the Indonesian territory which consists of 17,500 islands also gives contribution to the development of air transport business. Air travel could save time. There are many old equipments that must be replaced.
“We know that transportation in Indonesia needs improvement from time to time. Many of our equipments should be modernized because they were already old”, Freddy Numberi, Indonesia’s Minister of Transport, told Business News.
Improvement and modernization have been implemented by Garuda Indonesia. This company has replaced some of its airplanes and will buy some in the framework of improvement of services.
“Garuda has started to implement modernization. We expect that if this could be done properly, our transportation business could improve”.
Tariff should also be increased, but within a range which is not be a problem to the customers. Air transport tariff in Indonesia per kilometer is the lowest in Asia. And, this will hamper business acceleration in this sector.
“Tariff is actually a separate problem, but we do as much as possible to maintain a reasonable cost/tariff so that if there is an increase in tariff, it would not be too much a problem to the customers”. The trend is that the number of passengers will increase in future.
Regarding attempts to free 37 Indonesian air transports from flight ban to European Union, this matter is still in process.
European Union imposed flight ban on 51 Indonesian airlines in July 2007 due to rampant plane accidents that had caused 250 people dead.
There should be coordination with the European Union so that Indonesia will be able to improve standards of flight safety.
European Union had lifted flight ban on four Indonesian airlines in July 2009. These airlines were Garuda Indonesia, Mandala Airlines, Airfast Indonesia, and prime Air.