European Commission’s Air Travel Ban and Its Impact on Indonesia
European Commission issued a list of all aircraft companies that prohibited entering EU and it contains all 51 Indonesian aircraft companies, including the nation’s flag carrier Garuda Indonesia. Although neither of these aircrafts have regular flight to Europe, the restriction is also serves as a warning to EU citizens not to use these airlines anywhere in the world (BBC, 28/06/07). This ban was issued following several accidents that happened in Indonesia. They also believed that the government and the aviation authority in Indonesia are not serious on handling these problems. Garuda Indonesia, was the last scheduled airlines from the list that has a destination route in Europe. They discontinued in 2005 because of financial reasons. Actually, Garuda had already had plans to revive the Amsterdam Route, which they discontinued in 2004, but it still has to wait whether European Commission lift the ban or not (Jakarta Post, 27/9/07). In contrast with the policy, five member of European Commission expressed their regret by sending formal letters to the Embassy of Indonesian Republic (KBRI). These five countries are Italia, Denmark, Latvia, Uni Arab Emirate and Saudi Arabia. Although Uni Arab Emirate and Saudi Arabia is not part of European countries but they are part of the European Commission. They considered the policy was taken in a rush (Tribun Timur, 06/08/07). The Government of Indonesia, in March 2007, actually had implemented airline rating based on the compliance of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s safety rules. Based on that rating, there were no airlines considered to be in the first grade. Garuda Indonesia was ranked second and most of the airlines ranked third. It was a reflection on the condition of the airline industry in Indonesia. In terms of the passengers, there were significant increase, but in terms of safety, most of the airlines seemed to neglect this factor....
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