Garuda Flying High
Well, that was a headline in the Jakarta Post on Tuesday. Apparently the Director General for Air Transportation, Budhi M. Suyitno, announced on Monday that national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia was among the carriers whose safety ratings had been upgraded in a June Survey.The survey places airlines into three categories. A category I airline surpasses minimum air transportation regulation requirements with a score of between 162 and 200, while a category II airline satisfies minimum requirements with a score of between 120 and 161. However, a category III airline, with a score of less than 120, fails to consistently meet minimum requirements.The last survey in March revealed that seven out of 20 airlines operating aircraft with capacities of more than 30 passengers were in category III. The seven were Metro Batavia, AdamAir, Kartika Airlines, Trans Wisata Prima Aviation, Tri MG Intra Asia Airlines, Manunggal Air Service and Jatayu.
Garuda Indonesia, which was placed in category II in the last survey, moved up to category I.
There may be cries of incredulity where Adam Air is concerned, but then they haven't lost any planes since the one on January Ist, and the one that split in two upon landing in February.
But this post concerns Garuda which hasn't had a plane crash land since their Boeing 737-400 overshot the runway in Yogya on March 7th, killing 22 people.
A couple of weeks ago, Garuda were reported to be considering reopening its route to Amsterdam, partly to "'jack up" its revenue from international flights. No problem one would have thought, especially as Indonesian authorities have given Garuda a clean bill of health.Garuda spokesman Pujobroto said
, "We terminated our service to Amsterdam at the end of 2004 because it wasn't competitive and was losing money. Now, we are considering reopening it with improved efficiency and profitability. Amsterdam is actually a highly prospective market in Europe
Besides Amsterdam, Garuda also closed its routes to London and Paris in 2004.
So what do you think Garuda's reaction has been to today's story from the EU?EU bans all Indonesian airlinesAll 51 Indonesian airlines, including national carrier Garuda, are to be banned from the European Union. An updated blacklist of unsafe airlines also includes two new operators from Angola and Ukraine.Indonesian carriers do not currently fly to Europe, but the ban serves as a warning to consumers not to use these airlines elsewhere in the world."European citizens should avoid flying with these carriers," an EU official said. "They are really unsafe."The new list, decided upon following advice from an EU air safety committee, is expected to be formalised within a week.Indonesia's ambassador to the EU, Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, said Indonesian airlines were safe and he hoped the EU would review its decision at a meeting of air safety experts in October.
He added,"We hope that the European Union can also give us the opportunity to improve
Quite. But let's hope that the official report on the Yogya crash to be published in August won't be too damning.
D-G Budhi M. Suyitno was even more sanguine. He said, "In essence, there is no direct impact on us as we don't have any airline flying to Europe.
Besides, the EU got it wrong. There are only 50 Indonesian airlines, not 51. This is because Jatayu has been grounded by the Directorate-General of Air Transportation.Postscript
I heard today (Friday) of an American businessman who's cancelled his plans to come here.
He can get to Jakarta alright but he wanted to go to Kalimantan to check the feasibility of investing there. However, as he would have to fly on an Indonesian airline to get there ...
And Son no.1 has just started up a travel business
specialising in Indonesia (my input/influence?), Thailand and Malaysia. And he's well pissed off as it might affect travel insurance for anyone traveling internally, which would be a big part of people doing our trips.
Indo tourism f**ked again? There is a choice, after all.