Jakarta. State-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II has been restricting services and reducing operational hours in airports across Indonesia following the implementation of large-scale social restriction in some cities to minimize the spread of Covid-19.
The average flight frequency at 19 airports managed by Angkasa Pura II from April 1 to 13 had dropped to 698 flights per day.
The busiest airport was the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, which notched up 328 flights per day.
In comparison, the average flight frequency from January to February was 1,100 flights per day. The number started dropping in March to 800 flights per day.
Angkasa Pura II president director Muhammad Awaluddin said there have been fewer flights since the public now understands the importance of physical distancing to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission.
"People are obeying the call to stay at home and cancel their travel plans. The reduction in flights is expected, it has to happen to prevent the spread of Covid-19," he said in a press release on Tuesday.
Awaluddin also said that all Angkasa Pura II airports, including Soekarno-Hatta and Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, will follow the rules of large-scale social restriction, or PSBB.
The restriction has been applied in Jakarta since Friday and in its satellite cities Bogor, Depok and Bekasi starting on Wednesday.
The Health Ministry has also given the go-ahead for PSBB in Pekanbaru, where there will be curfews from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting on Friday.
"We have reduced the operational hours at Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport in Pekanbaru to 6 a.m. to 8 p.m following the PSBB," Awaluddin said.
Airlines will also fill only half of the seats on every flight after the Transportation Ministry issued a regulation on social distancing.
The Transportation Ministry's director-general of civil aviation, Novie Riyanto, said airlines must limit the number of passengers to 50 percent of the total seating capacity if the region where the flight originates is subject to the PSBB.
There will be an adjustment on flight costs when this happens.
He said all flights must comply with Covid-19 health protocols.
"We will implement the protocols at the airport and onboard the aircraft on both passenger and cargo flights," Novie said in a press release on Tuesday.
Logistics flights transporting food and medical supplies will be operating as usual.
The Transportation Ministry will also provide hand sanitizers at all airports, carry out body temperature checks and monitor the health of airport workers.