The Indonesian Transport Ministry will revoke operational license of airliners which have less than 10 planes, a move aiming at boosting service and safety, an official said on Wednesday.
The statement was made after hundreds of passengers of budget Lion Airline were stranded in airports days ago due to mechanical problems and large number of travelers.
That follows the crash of an AirAsia plane on Dec. 28 in the Java Sea that killed all 162 people on board.
Muzafar Ismail, director for air transport of the ministry, said an air carrier must have at least 10 planes to operate or the ministry will free its operational permit, starting on July 1.
Of the 10 planes, the director said the airline may only own five of them with the rest rented.
“So, if by June 30, an airline does not comply with the request, we will stop its operation,” he said.
Indonesian transport authorities have intensified effort to audit safety and operational of airliners after the AirAsia plane crash in December, in part, to prevent the repeat of such tragedy and boost services to consumers in Indonesia, one of the fast growing aviation markets.
Starting from March 1, the Transport Ministry is set to start auditing safety standard of all airlines operating in the country and will announce its safety rating in September, Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan told Xinhua.
The European Union imposed a travel ban on some Indonesian airlines in 2007, many of them budget airlines, over safety concerns. The ban was lifted two years later with the improvement of safety.
Indonesia, a vast archipelago country with a population of over 238 million and a growing middle class, is a potential market for budget airline industry as the government aims to build air transport to connect over 17,500 islands. Enditem