Indonesian airline risks suspension


Indonesia’s transport minister has warned that budget airline Adam Air could be forced to halt its operations after a series of accidents involving the carrier, state media reports.

In the latest incident, a Boeing 737-400 operated by Adam Air with more than 170 people on board overshot the runway at the airport on Batam island, causing damage to the plane and injuring five people.

“We are giving them a chance to improve. If there’s no change, we will place them in the third category,” Transport Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal was quoted as saying by the state Antara news agency.

The third category under the ministry’s rating system means the airline has three months to improve before its operation is suspended if it does not get better.

Currently Adam Air is in the second category, which means it has fulfilled minimum safety requirements but still has deficiencies.

Adam Air spokesman Danke Drajat said the airline, which flies mainly domestic routes but also to Singapore, was doing its best to improve its safety standards.

“We are completing all manuals and revamping the standard operating procedure,” said Drajat.

In January last year, an Adam Air plane crashed into the sea off Sulawesi island, with all 102 on board missing and presumed dead.

Indonesia’s airline industry has grown rapidly in the past decade following liberalisation, with the launch of new players and a wider choice of routes across the sprawling archipelago.

However, the country has suffered a string of airline disasters in recent years, raising concerns about safety standards and prompting the European Union to ban all Indonesian airlines from its airspace.