JAKARTA, Indonesia – State-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II (AP II) president director Budi Karya Sumadi said on Sunday that passenger protests against Lion Air flight delays since Wednesday had inflicted Rp 100 million (US$ 7,777.89) worth of damage on the airline.
He said that during the protests, angry passengers had smashed windows in several Lion Air areas of Terminal 1 and 3 at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
They also damaged Lion’s check-in computers in the terminals, blocked off access to Lion’s check-in counters in Terminal 3 and blockaded the pedestrian area at Terminal 1.
“They also threatened to start fires on and blockade the airport runway and apron,” said Budi as quoted by Antara news agency in a press conference in Jakarta on Sunday.He went on to say that the passengers were incensed at being ignored by Lion’s management, which refused to confirm the departure of their flights.
Hordes of stranded Lion Air passengers could be found in terminals 1A, 1B and 3 due to the delays.“The delays left the passengers in a poor condition. A number of them became sick while some of them fainted. No Lion Air staff at the airport could give them certainty [about their departures],” said Budi.
He said AP II would examine its agreement with Lion Air to consider possible sanctions on the country’s largest low-cost carrier.“If it is stipulated in the agreement that the airline is responsible for such damages, then we will ask them to cover the repair costs of the facilities,” said Budi.He said it was the first time that AP II had dealt with flight delays that had lasted for three days.
“Lion flight delays, which continued until Thursday and Friday, disrupted the flight schedules of other airlines such as Sriwijaya Air and AirAsia,” said Budi.As reported earlier, dozens of Lion Air flight delays and cancellations occurred on Wednesday, when six of the airline’s planes reportedly broke down due to various factors.