Indonesia to consider raising budget airfares after Lion Air crash -minister


Posted at Nov 01 2018 03:51 PM

A personnel from National Transportation Safety Board examines debris from Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia, November 1, 2018. Beawiharta, Reuters

JAKARTA - Indonesia may review the lower limit of its airfares and consider increasing the rates set by low-cost carriers, the transport minister said on Thursday.

Budi Karya Sumadi added that President Joko Widodo had ordered a review of all flight safety regulations after this week's crash of a jet operated by budget carrier Lion Air with 189 aboard.

"According to the regulations, both international and ours, (an accident) like this should not happen. Because that happened, then we had to evaluate," Sumadi told a news conference. 

Privately owned Lion Air, founded in 1999, said the aircraft had been in operation since August, adding that it had been airworthy and the pilot and co-pilot had 11,000 hours of flying time between them.

But according to the transport safety committee, the plane had technical problems on its previous flight on Sunday, from the city of Denpasar on the resort island of Bali, including an issue over "unreliable airspeed".

Lion Air chief executive Edward Sirait has acknowledged reports of technical problems with the aircraft, but said maintenance had been carried out "according to procedure" before it was cleared to fly again.

Investigators are looking into why the pilot had asked to return to base shortly after take-off, a request that ground control officials had granted, although the flight crashed soon after.