1) Garuda Indonesia Spreads Its Wings for Flight Expansion in Papua
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 | 05:59 WIB
JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - The easternmost provinces of West Papua and Papua, which were formerly one province called Irian Jaya before they were split into two provinces in 2003, have difficult geographical conditions for transportation services.
Land transportation is not yet effective as the infrastructure, notably roads, are not yet suitable for smooth connectivity among regions within the two provinces. So far, many travelers within the regions have been transported using small planes that could land at airstrips.
Therefore, the country's flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is planning to increase its flight services in Papua and West Papua in order to provide adequate transportation means for the people of Papua and West Papua.
For West Papua, Garuda is planning to use a wide-bodied Boeing 737-800 aircraft to serve the Sorong-Jakarta route, while for the Papua, it is planning to expand its local flights by opening the Jayapura-Dekai route. Garuda Indonesia plans to open the Jayapura-Dekai route in Yahukmo District, after it identified a relatively high potential in serving the route.
"We are planning to start flights on the route from Jayapura to Dekai, probably in July 2017," Garuda's Sales and Marketing Manager for Jayapura Octavianus J. H. Tampi stated in Jayapura on Monday (Jan 30). According to Tampi, Garuda will use a 70-seater ATR aircraft.
"We have identified the route's potential. Hence, we are planning to start flight services locally in Papua Province," Tampi remarked. The Garuda manager pointed out that the state-owned airline company will use new aircraft to daily serve the new route to Nop Goliat Airport in Dekai. It plans to fly every day. The route could be Jayapura-Dekai-Timika.
The route will be served with relatively small aircraft; however, for the Sorong-Jakarta route, Garuda will deploy a larger aircraft. In its efforts to increase its services to the people of Papua, Garuda will use wide-bodied Boeing 737-800 aircraft to serve the Sorong-Jakarta route, a Garuda sales manager stated.
Radhitya Prastanika, Garuda Sales Manager for Sorong, remarked in Sorong on Tuesday that his company was planning to operate Boeing 737-800 to serve the Sorong-Jakarta route next April.
The airlines will use a large aircraft to serve the route to support the government's efforts to offer better access for tourists to the Raja Ampat tourism destination. Raja Ampat is a district in West Papua with Waisai as its capital city.
The Raja Ampat District Administration has been improving infrastructure, facilities and services to support the tourism industry. According to Yusdi Lamatenggo, head of the Raja Ampat tourism office, an airport will be built on Misol Island. "The Raja Ampat district administration has set a target that by late 2017, aircraft similar to Susi Air planes could land on Misol Island," he noted.
Therefore, Garuda will use Boeing 737-800 aricraft to serve Sorong-Jakarta route. Currently, Garuda is waiting for a letter of permit to land at Sorong's Domine Eduward Osok Airport.
"We are waiting for the official letter from the Domine Eduward Osok Airport authority for allowing a large aircraft to land at the airport," Prastanika said.
According to Prastanika, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which will serve the Sorong-Jakarta route, has a seating capacity of 162 passengers, of which 150 are economy class seats and 12 are executive class.
"Garuda is committed to offering convenience to the people of Sorong," he added. This year, Garuda Indonesia is planning to increase the number of its flights and start new routes in Papua and West Papua. However, the first priority will be accorded to Boeing 737-800 to serve the Sorong-Jakarta route.
"If the airport authority issues the letter before April, Garuda will be ready to operate its Boeing 737-800 aircraft," Prastanika stated. In expanding its flight services, the airlines continues to set strategies, particularly to face competition, which will be increasingly stiffer in the coming years.
Earlier in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Garuda President Director Arif Wibowo stated that Garuda had outlined anticipatory steps to face tough competition in the aviation sector in 2017.
Garuda has prepared anticipatory steps in the face of possible oil price hikes in the global market and fluctuations in foreign currencies, Wibowo said on the sidelines of a joint anniversary celebration of 22 state-owned enterprises in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, last Saturday.
He remarked that as part of its strategies, the national flag carrier has pegged the assumed price of avtur, or aircraft fuel, and has conducted hedging of foreign currencies to anticipate fluctuations.
After all, the global economy, which is forecast to have not yet fully recovered, has a major impact on the aviation business. Based on the assumption of an increase in the avtur prices, Garuda has fixed an assumed price of 57 US cents per liter.
Oil price is the main factor in the context of cost strategy, as it could have a direct impact on the performance in 2017. Garuda has also applied hedging in a bid to protect the value of the company's loan payments from fluctuations in the foreign currency exchange rates.
However, Wibowo declined to reveal the value of hedging, by merely saying that the step was intended to protect the company's financial balance from the adverse impact of the weakening of the rupiah.
Wibowo said that despite stiff competition among airlines in 2017, Garuda has set a passenger growth target at 8.7 percent, higher that the aviation industry's projection at 6.9 percent.
2) Indonesia, Australia to hold third MCM on law and security
Pewarta: Yashinta Difa Rabu, 1 Februari 2017 21:35 WIB
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Australia again committed to enhancing relations in the fields of law and security by organizing the third Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) on Law and Security in Jakarta on February 2, 2017.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto has been appointed as head of the Indonesian delegation, while Australian Attorney General Senator George Brandis is the head of Australias delegation.
At the meeting, the two countries will hold talks on several issues, including counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and maritime security, as quoted from a statement released by the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs on Wednesday.
In line with strengthening cooperation in the law sector, both countries will review the cooperation among law enforcement personnel.
Through the third MCM meeting, Indonesia and Australia have agreed to enhance mutual understanding on issues relating to law and security, a common concern for both countries.
It is a commitment of both nations to maintain security and stability and create prosperity in the region. Such a commitment will be comprehended at the end of the meeting in the form of a Joint Communiqu.
The meeting will also be attended by Indonesian Attorney General HM Prasetyo, Minister of Communication and Information Rudiantara, Military Chief General Gatot Nurmayanto, Police Chief General Tito Karnavian, Head of the Indonesian Intelligence Agency Budi Gunawan, and Head of the Counter Terrorism Agency Commissioner General Suhardi Alius.
Head of the Financial Transaction Report and Analysis Centre Kiagus Ahmad Badaruddin and Head of the Anti-Drugs Agency Commissioner General Budi Waseso will also attend the meeting.
Australian Minister of Justice Michael Keenan and Australian Minister of Cyber Security Affairs Dan Tehan will attend the meeting as members of the Australian delegation.
Indonesia-Australia MCM on Law and Security is a forum for holding ministerial-level meetings, the first edition of which was held on December 21, 2015, in Jakarta and the second in Sydney on June 8, 2016. (Uu.Y013/KR-BSR/A014)
3) Australia arrests Indonesian mission trespasser
News Desk The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Wed, February 1, 2017| 08:12 am
Australian authorities finally captured on Monday a man for trespassing on protected Indonesian property after almost a month of pursuit and multiple warnings from Indonesia.
The 42-year-old unidentified man was arrested in the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown for trespassing on the Indonesian Consulate General (KJRI) in Melbourne earlier this month, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta revealed Tuesday.
The arrest was made just a few days after Indonesian government officials and legislators criticized Australia for failing to arrest a man who climbed onto the roof of the KJRI and hoisted the Morning Star flag of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM).
“The Australian Federal Police [AFP] can confirm it arrested a 42-year-old man in the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown on Monday,” the Australian Embassy said in a statement to The Jakarta Post.
The individual was charged with Trespassing on a Protected Premises, contrary to Section 20 of the Protection of Persons and Property Act, the statement added.
“He has been bailed to appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday, Feb. 23.”
The Embassy did not provide further comment on the case, saying it would be inappropriate because it “is now before the court.”
Section 20 of the 1971 Act carries a fine ranging between 10 and 20 penalty units, whereby 1 penalty unit is equal to A$180 (US$135.93) for federal offenses.
The flag-hoisting incident was filmed by an accomplice from outside the Indonesian premises, which was then posted on social media for wide distribution.
Indonesian Consul General in Melbourne Dewi Wahab told the Post on Tuesday that there was only one suspect in the case, as the person recording the video did not engage in a criminal act.
Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir rejoiced following news of the arrest, conveying Indonesia’s hope that the perpetrator would be duly processed in accordance with the law.
“We received information from the Consul General that the AFP detained [...] the criminal responsible for the Melbourne KJRI incident,” he said. “We appreciate that the AFP was finally able to capture the perpetrator.”
Last week, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said that lawmakers from the foreign affairs commission of the House of Representatives demanded that the Australian government take swift measures to legally process the demonstrator, who had remained at large since the Jan. 6 incident.
The incident further exacerbated tensions with Canberra following Indonesia’s temporary suspension of military cooperation on language exchange programs with Australia, pending an investigation into another troubling affair that is scheduled to conclude by the end of this month.
Australian authorities were accused of showing little interest in resolving the incident, until last week’s protests by the Indonesian government and lawmakers.
The arrest also comes ahead of the expected arrival of an Australian delegation in Jakarta to attend the Ministerial Council on Law and Security