On Saturday, July 3rd, AirAsia Indonesia announced that it would be suspending its operations for at least a month due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in the country. The airline has called its suspension a form of support for the Indonesian government’s efforts in tackling the virus.
All AirAsia domestic and international routes suspended
According to a statement issued by the AirAsia Group subsidiary, all scheduled flights on the airline’s domestic Indonesian and international routes will temporarily stop operating from July 6th to August 6th, 2021.
“AirAsia remains committed to serving charter and cargo flights to support repatriation missions, delivery of goods and other essential interests by implementing strict health and safety protocols.” – AirAsia Indonesia
AirAsia is taking a flexible approach to existing bookings and reservations on canceled flights. For bookings on flights during the suspension period, passengers can convert tickets into a credit account which is valid for up to 730 days (two years). They can also change their flight schedule to another date until 31 October 2021, which can be done an unlimited number of times at no additional cost.
Finally, guests can also choose to request a refund, which can be completed on the airline’s website, airasia.com or support.airasia.com.
While new daily case counts had been ‘stabilizing’ around five to six thousand during the month of May, this figure has significantly jumped over the month of July. New daily case counts are now exceeding 20,000 and continue to climb. Indeed, case counts began to climb in late May and early June – weeks after many Indonesians traveled and celebrated in marking the Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr.
ABC News (Australia) notes that a prominent epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia, Dr Pandu Riono, describes the situation in the country as “herd stupidity.”
This label was given due to what Dr Riono calls mixed messaging and poor decision-making from the government, combined with the general public’s refusal to follow health protocols and reluctance to receive jabs.
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Suspension could be extended
As we’ve seen in many other cases around the world, the suspension of flights could be extended further, depending on the country’s COVID situation. If case counts and hospitalizations continue to rise, we can expect more canceled flights in an effort to contain the situation.
“AirAsia always puts the safety and security of every passenger and all of its employees first. We will continue to evaluate the development of the situation and are ready to re-open our scheduled flight services at any time if the situation improves.” -AirAsia Indonesia
With this in mind, AirAsia customers are advised to periodically monitor the airline’s travel advisory information, available on the AirAsia app, as well as on the airline’s social media channels.
Are you affected by AirAsia’s flight suspensions? Let us know by leaving a comment.