Mon, 08 Mar 1999

INACA wants higher fares

JAKARTA (JP): The Indonesian National Air Carriers Association (INACA) is proposing a 70 percent hike in domestic airfares to US$0.13 per kilometer per seat starting at the end of March.

Association chairman Soelarto Hadisoemarto said it was impossible for airline companies to cover operating costs at the current airfare rate of US$0.075 per kilo meter per seat following a 76 percent increase in jet fuel prices .

"We will consult with the House of Representatives regarding the airfare increase very soon," Soelarto was quoted by Bisnis Indonesia daily on Saturday as saying.

Soelarto said he understood the country's unfortunate economic condition and said raising airfares gradually every six months was a possibility.

Separately, INACA secretary Benny Rungkat said the association would also discuss with the government payment of the airfare in U.S. dollars.

The country has five commercial airlines -- state-owned Garuda Indonesia and Merpati Nusantara Airlines, and private Bouraq Airlines, Mandala Airlines and Dirgantara Air Services. Sempati Air went out of business last June due to the crisis. (02)