Don’t be like Jetstar, warns Indonesian tourism minister

A ranger of airliners including Jetstar and Lion Air parked at Denpasar airport, Bali Indonesia.
Andrew Thomas from Shrewsbury, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno has weighed in on the recent incident which saw an Australian Jetstar aircraft denied landing approval at Bali’s Denpasar Airport last week.

The incident in question involved Jetstar Flight JQ35, operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which had departed Melbourne (MEL) bound for Denpasar, Bali (DPS).

The aircraft was approximately four hours into its flight, when the aircraft made an unscheduled turnaround and returned to its Melbourne departure point.

The flight had transited the Australian mainland and made the return after passing across the north-west enroute to the popular Indonesian tourist destination.

The cause of the turnaround was cited as a “miscommunication” by the airline, when it failed to advise Indonesian aviation authorities that it had swapped the larger 787 Dreamliner into the scheduled route, instead of the approved Airbus A321 aircraft.

Jetstar had substituted the widebody Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner to conduct the flight, in order to accommodate more passengers, as travel demand continues to surge.

Indonesian Tourism Minister comments

According to Indonesian news sources, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno has addressed the issue, urging all airlines to follow procedures with appropriate diligence, citing the recent Jetstar incident.

According to Detik Travel, the Minister stated: “Currently Jetstar is completely reviewing the incident and will apply procedures to prevent it from happening again.”

“[My department] has also reminded all airlines to be more diligent in complying with the rules and regulations – for the safety of all of us.”

The Minister stressed that all commercial air operators, both domestic and international, must abide by Indonesia’s relevant procedures, particularly where it relates to air safety.

In his statement, which was issued yesterday, January 3 he furthered: “The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry would like to remind all air carriers to obey procedures that are implemented. The rules are enforced for our collective safety.”

Indonesia travel

Indonesia is currently preparing for an influx of Chinese travellers, in the wake of the lifting of travel restrictions on inbound and outbound air travel by China.

Local news source Tempo cites Minister Sandiaga as saying that there have been several requests from international Chinese airlines to open up direct flights to Jakarta and Bali.

Subject airlines are reported to include Air China, China Eastern, and China Southern. Previously, Chinese tourists wanting to travel to the Indonesian island of Bali have had to connect via Singapore.

With the attendant rise of travel movements in and out of Indonesia, the local authorities are rightly cautious in their appeal to airlines to follow appropriate procedural protocols.


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