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QZ8501: ‘AirAsia Have Approvals To Fly To Surabaya’, Says Tony Fernandes

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PANGKALAN BUN – AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes (pic) has never admitted that Indonesia AirAsia has no permit to fly the Surabaya-Singapore route, his office said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We have the right to fly Surabaya-Singapore. We had flown that schedule and had rights for seven days a week,” the statement quoted Fernandes as saying.

“We have secured both slots as well as approval from both Indonesia and Singapore. What happened was purely an administrative error,” it added.

The statement comes after Indonesia’s Transport Minister Ignasius Jonas said on Tuesday that Fernandes “had admitted AirAsia has no route permit”.

The Transportation Ministry suspended AirAsia’s flight permit for the Surabaya-Singapore route on Jan. 2, after it was revealed that AirAsia allegedly violated operational procedures by flying on a Sunday when their licence only allowed them to fly on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

In October, the airline revised its route schedule to fly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, without the required permission from the ministry, it was alleged.

Director-general of air transport Djoko Murjatmodjo said AirAsia’s suspension would be till investigations were completed, while other airlines in the country would also be examined.

“We will carry out an audit or an evaluation on all airlines in Indonesia over whether there are any violations related to route, time and schedule,” Djoko said last week.

Fernandes welcomed the evaluation in his statement.

“It is good that Ministry of Transport is evaluating coordination between slot coordinator and airports so that we are able to prevent this from reccuring,” he said according to the statement. “The process has become clear now. I also recommend what is being implemented in Singapore; an intergrated computerised system so that everyone is on the same page.” – The Straits Times/ANN

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