Travel agents hail drop in air ticket prices in Indonesia

Samarinda, East Kalimantan (ANTARA) – Several travel agents in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, gave a thumbs-up to the central government’s policy of issuing a new regulation on a drop in the domestic air ticket prices, effective from April 1, 2019.

Sri Lestari, an agent of the Samarinda Travel Bureau, pointed out that during the last three-month period, the travel business had witness a drastic drop owing to a hike in air ticket prices in addition to the application of rules on paid baggage by several airlines.

“In case there is truly a reduction in the prices of air tickets, we are undoubtedly pleased by this development since the number of our consumers has, on an average, continued to dwindle. Hence, when the ticket prices rose, the business was certainly going through a lean phase,” Lestari told crew members of the media in Samarinda on Tuesday.

Lestari, whose several travel bureau outlets are spread across Samarinda, remarked that when the ticket prices were still affordable, the travel business was doing well, with hundreds of airline tickets sold within a month. “However, in the past three months, business has been rather sluggish, particularly for trips through the Sepinggan Airport, Balikpapan,” he revealed.

A similar low was also witnessed in airport transportation services, in particular those that serve the Samarinda-Balikpapan route.

“We received passengers daily, but when the lean period is on, as of now, we can sometimes head home until evening, due to less passengers,” Gatot, a taxi driver operating at the Sepinggan Airport, remarked.

Gatot heaved a sigh of relief on the development that the air ticket prices will drop, as he was optimistic that it can help boost the number of air passengers.

The central government, through Transportation Minister’s Regulation No. 20 of 2019, has amended the rules for lower limit tariffs on Economy-class domestic passengers to 35 percent of the upper limit tariff. Earlier, the lower limit rate was set at just 30 percent of the upper limit tariff. This rule has come into effect from April 1, 2019.

On-field observation showed no decrease as yet in the prices of online tickets for April 1, 2019. This was specifically for several routes, including Samarinda-Banjarmasin, for which the ticket price is set at Rp630 thousand and the rates had, in fact, shot up by several thousand. *

Source: ANTARA News