Indonesia followed Australia’s lead and started limiting, effective today, the number of passengers that each international flight can bring to just 90 regardless of the plane type used.
Long-haul airlines flying to Indonesia from global gateways such as Istanbul, Dubai, and Singapore must deny boarding passengers if the flight is over 90.
Indonesia claims that this will limit the new Covid-19 variations potentially entering the country (unlikely the case).
This per light maximum passengers limit puts the airlines in a difficult position, especially those that fly on wide-body aircraft, as 90 can be less than a third of the maximum capacity. There is no limit on the number of passengers airlines can transport FROM Indonesia.
Those who plan to fly to Indonesia, as long as this rule is in place, will likely pay much higher prices for the economy class tickets, as airlines will first fill up the first, business, and premium economy cabins.
Here’s the circular that was shared by Indoflyer on Twitter:
This won’t slow the spreading of possible virus variants to the country but merely incentivizes airlines to operate in Indonesia on smaller planes and higher frequencies. The outcome is the same as previously.
I am also not sure how this works with the government’s plan to allow tourists from certain countries to enter popular destinations, such as Bali, possibly as early as November? High airfares combined with all the possible hoops that you need to take will deter anyone else than most hard-core travelers from entering Indonesia.
For me, this just seems to be a dumb rule.