Indonesia to reduce airline fees to support tourism amid coronavirus outbreak
The Indonesian government has stepped in to support the country’s aviation and tourism industries in limiting the damage the coronavirus outbreak has inflicted on airlines.
The initiatives will include reducing landing fees and airport charges for airlines, as well as providing incentives for hotels and tourism businesses in areas that are popular among Chinese vacationers such as Bali, Manado and the
Because of the outbreak, the ministry is expecting a 30 per cent decrease in passenger volume for airlines. Since the beginning of this month, the Government has stopped all flights to mainland China to limit the spread of the virus.
“The government will collaborate with airport operators, airlines and hotels to establish the opportunities,” Sumadi said. “We want to improve the tourism industry and encourage people to take a holiday.” After Malaysians, Chinese tourists are the second-largest group of overseas travelers to Indonesia. Tourism is a critical component of the government’s attempt to generate more revenue from foreign exchange and tackle its current account deficit.
The outbreak also comes at a critical juncture for Indonesia’s largest low-cost carrier, PT Lion Mentari Airlines, which has been planning an initial public offering. Flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia was expected by analysts to post record earnings for 2019 and continue to boost profit in 2020 before the virus broke out.
Indonesia says it has no virus cases. Experts are skeptical
As the deadly new coronavirus spreads rapidly around the world, one of Asia’s most-populous countries says it has no confirmed cases — and some public health experts aren’t really buying it.
Indonesia, which last month suspended direct flights to the Chinese city of Wuhan where the virus originated, still hasn’t reported any confirmed cases. Officials maintain their monitoring meets the standards of the World Health Organization, which has endorsed the country’s approach.
But scientists have expressed doubts given the nearly 50 cases in Singapore, more than a dozen in neighboring Malaysia and infections reported as far afield as Nepal and Finland. Harvard University researchers published a paper this month comparing the number of reported cases in countries with their air travel volume to China.