The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation is hinting that the maximum 70% occupancy permitted on commercial flights may soon be increased to 100%, made possible by the general public’s compliance with government health protocols to prevent the coronavirus’ spread.
Quoted by NusaBali, the Director-General of Civil Aviation, Novie Riyanto Rahardjo, confirmed during an online commencement ceremony for post-graduate students from Yogyakarta’s Gadjah Mada University on Wednesday, 14 October 2020, that the maximum passenger load on Indonesian commercial aircraft might soon be increased from 70% to 100%. Rahardjo said that by allowing 100% occupancy on commercial flights, Indonesia would follow permissible occupancy levels on many foreign air carriers.
Currently, the Ministry of Transportation and the Task Force for the Mitigation of COVID-19 limit occupancy on Indonesian airlines to a maximum of 70% to permit physical distancing protocol compliance. Novie notes that international operators abroad, such as countries in Europe and the USA, do not impose capacity limitations.
Novie explained how Indonesia sets capacity limitation out of an abundance of cautions to provide for physical distancing and instill confidence in the flying public.
In Novie’s opinion, foreign operators do not need to set capacity limits on flights because of the strict enforcement of health protocols starting from the check-in and boarding process.
Describing how flights without passenger limitations are operating in foreign locales, Novie said: “There are no protests, and all the passengers wear masks using standard equipment. The cabins are disinfected in a disciplined manner, and people cannot speak onboard the aircraft.”
Novie said the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation is making improvements in the regulations governing flight operations during a pandemic. In the future, he said, aircraft passenger capacity can increase to 100 percent if public awareness and the means of preventing Covid-19 can be improved. “In the future, if all of us can get better, it means that our society realizes that wearing masks is mandatory,” he added.