Indonesian regulator imposes new law on scheduled airlines

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Indonesia's government has introduced a new law requiring scheduled airlines to have at least ten aircraft by early 2012.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation director of airworthiness and aircraft operations, Yurlis Hasibuan, says the government has introduced a new law requiring that all scheduled airlines, operating aircraft with more than 30 seats, must have at least ten aircraft.

He says the new requirement comes into effect on 12 January 2012 and that scheduled carriers that fail to meet the deadline will have to become charter operators or close down.

He also says carriers must own some of its aircraft and will be unable to rely solely on aircraft leases to meet the new requirement.

This new law is designed "to encourage the airline operators to be good in business and to be safe and become a big company".

"We don't like to have an airline that only has one or two aircraft," he adds.

Indonesia today has around 15 scheduled carriers and around seven need to acquire more aircraft to have a fleet of ten, says Yurlis.

He also says carriers might merge in an effort to meet the new requirement.

Indonesia's regulator in recent years has been introducing new requirements in an effort to improve the country's air safety and get Indonesia off a European Union blacklist that bars all Indonesian airlines from operating to Europe.

Indonesia has also had in place a requirement that all new airlines start with at least two aircraft.

Yurlis says scheduled airlines that launch after 12 January 2012 will need to start with a minimum of ten.