A passenger looks at flight schedules on a screen at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, Banten. (Antara Photo)

Air Travel Suffers Steepest Fall Due to Pandemic


JULY 01, 2020

Jakarta. Air travel business suffered the steepest fall in decades as the Covid-19 pandemic forced flight operators to ground planes amid travel restrictions and lockdown in most countries around the world.

The Central Statistics Agency, or BPS, announced on Wednesday the number of domestic air passengers fell by 89.62 percent to just around 87,000 in May compared to the previous month.

“That’s a very sharp drop. It went even deeper by 98.43 percent compared to May 2019,” BPS Head Suhariyanto said in a news conference in Jakarta. 

According to the agency, there were only 11,700 passengers on international routes in May, a decline by 55 percent from April.


During the period between January and May, the number of domestic air passengers dropped by 40.28 percent to 17.58 million compared to the same period last year, while the number of passengers departing for foreign countries plummeted by 53.76 percent to 3.41 million.

“International flights were particularly hit by the crisis because many countries had imposed lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19,” Suhariyanto said.

That led to an 86.90 percent drop in international arrivals in May, when only 163,650 foreigners visited the country. In the same month last year, Indonesia received 1.25 million visits.

“In the tourism sector, the pandemic has begun to make damage in early February although the first cases of Covid-19 in Indonesia were confirmed in March. Many countries started to impose travel restrictions much earlier,” he said.

The number of railway passengers fell by 41.72 percent to 101.23 million in the first five months of the year compared to the same period last year. Meanwhule, the number of passengers travelling by ships was down by 22.68 percent to 6.96 million.