Less than a week after resuming operations, Indonesia’s Lion Air has announced that it is indefinitely halting all domestic and international flights as several passengers have found it difficult to comply with the government-mandated COVID-19 protocol. The Jakarta-based airline restarted operations on June 1, for the second time since air travel was banned due to the global pandemic.
“Many prospective passengers were unable to carry out air travel because they did not complete the required documents and conditions during the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) pandemic alert period,” a press release from the airline read. The airline stated that passengers who have already purchased tickets will be provided with a full refund or the option to reschedule their trip to a later date.
The Indonesian government banned all air travel from April 24 to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the country. However, some exceptions were made for essential travel for business and family-related emergencies, Bloomberg reported. Apart from proving that they were not suffering from the novel coronavirus, passengers also had to provide documents to show that their travel was ‘essential’, as per regulations released by the Indonesian Transportation Ministry.
Earlier, The Lion Air Group had announced that it was suspending operations between May 26 and 30 due to ‘confusion’ and ‘misinformation’ surrounding government regulations for air travel, Jakarta Post reported. The airline had first resumed operations on May 10 after the Indonesian government relaxed the blanket ban on air travel.
The airline had ensured that health and safety measures to prevent COVID-19 were followed onboard all of its flights, CNN reported. Middle seats were blocked out, planes were deep-cleaned, and HEPA filters were replaced on aircrafts that carried any passengers with suspected cases of COVID-19.
The airline stated that its decision was made to protect its ground staff and cabin crew from contracting the illness. Over 28,000 Covid cases and 1,721 deaths have been reported in Indonesia.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines