The Transportation Ministry has revoked its suspension of ground handling operations by low-cost carriers Lion Air and Indonesia AirAsia for five days and instead converted the punishment to a 30-day probationary period for both airlines, a ministry official announced on Wednesday (25/05).(Reuters Photo/Olivia Harris)

Transport Ministry Revokes Supension Against Lion Air and AirAsia, Issues Probation Instead

MAY 25, 2016

Jakarta. The Transportation Ministry has revoked its suspension of ground handling operations by low-cost carriers Lion Air and Indonesia AirAsia for five days and instead converted the punishment to a 30-day probationary period for both airlines, a ministry official announced on Wednesday (25/05).

The baggage and ground handling services of Lion Air at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, and that of AirAsia at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, were originally scheduled to be suspended for five days starting on Wednesday, but the ministry put both flight carriers on probation instead.

Transportation Ministry spokesman Hemi Pamuraharjo said Lion Air and AirAsia are given 30 days to improve its ground handling services. Both companies responded saying that they provide better ground handling services.

The improvements must include conducting vigorous training to ground handling staff to ensure that such breaches of security and airport operational procedures are not bypassed.

The airlines are also barred from hiring third party services for ground handling operations, unless an official agreement has been made and approval has been sought from all relevant parties.

“If improvements aren't made during the probation period, the ground handling operations of both airlines will be revoked,” said Helmi, as reported by Detikcom.

Edward Sirait, President director of Lion Air, said the airline appreciated and thanked the ministry for the decision, adding that significant improvements will be made.

“We are committed to improving the quality of services in order [to ensure that our customers] are comfortable and safe,” Edward said in a statement.

On May 10, Lion Air's ground handling staff reportedly brought 182 passengers arriving on a flight from Singapore to Soekarno-Hatta airport's domestic arrival terminal instead of the international terminal, thereby bypassing immigration.

Less than two weeks later, AirAsia allegedly committed a similar violation by taking 47 passengers who arrived on a flight from Singapore at around midnight to Ngurah Rai airport's domestic arrivals. Both airlines say the incidents were accidental.

Writing by Edo Karensa

SHARE