January 14, 2015
Asian LCCs come under increased scrutiny after permit revelations regarding Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501
As soon as it was discovered there were discrepancies over the rights for Indonesia AirAsia to fly between Surabaya and Singapore, it comes as no surprise that many Asian airlines are having their permits to fly routes heavily scrutinized. At the time, Indonesia AirAsia had permits to fly the route in question on four days of the week, but Sunday was not one of them. Their permit to fly that route has subsequently been permanently frozen.
However scrutiny of other airlines operating procedures has revealed some alarming figures regarding the breach of flight permits, the consequences of which will see regional authorities clamp down even further on the number of Southeast Asian airline operators. The Indonesian Minister of Transport, Ignasius Jonan, named six specific airlines under its jurisdiction, all of which had “committed violations” relating to their permits to fly specific routes. These airlines include Garuda Indonesia, Susi Air, Lion Air, TransNusa, Indonesia AirAsia and Wings Air (a Lion Air subsidiary). Apparently Lion Air was the biggest culprit with 35 route violations and another 18 violations via its Wings Air offshoot.
The Minister stated that all the airlines had subsequently been barred from flying to any destinations they had serviced without authorized permits. “They committed violations of their permits. They didn’t have the flight permits for 61 routes and they cannot now fly on the routes [they violated].” Jonan also confirmed that at least 10 government officials working in the air transport administration would face disciplinary action based on the results of recent investigations.