Lion Air halts flights 2nd time, points to passenger behavior

Steven Byles, CC BY-SA 2.0

Lion Air group airlines are suspending scheduled domestic and international flights indefinitely starting from June 5, 2020. The suspension comes a week after the first hold off of flights ended. In both cases, the company said the decision was based on passengers’ behavior, as they were failing to meet  travel conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Lion Air, Wings Air, and Batik Air are temporarily suspending scheduled passenger flights, both domestic and international. Starting from June 5, 2020. The halt would last “until further notice”, the company revealed in a statement issued on June 3, 2020. 

The company decided to suspend flights after a high number of passengers were denied air travel for failing to complete the requirement documents or meet other COVID-19 prevention related conditions. 

“Lion Air Group protect and make sure for physical and mental health conditions of all employees are in good condition, after the previous flight operational,” the company’s statement read.

This is the second time when the group suspends operations, saying that passengers do not follow health protocols. Claiming that passengers lacked information on how to correctly complete documents before travelling by air, the company previously suspended its flights between May 27 and May 31, 2020.

“Based on evaluations of previous flight operations, many potential passengers cannot continue their trip or cannot fly and must return with all costs incurred (losses), only because of ignorance or lack of understanding of the conditions that must be met in order to be able to carry out a trip with aircraft,” read the company’s statement on May 27. 

At the time, the company believed that prospective travelers needed more information on provisions and requirements for air travel, especially on how to fill and obtain needed travel documents. 

On May 28, Lion Air outlined that in addition to a valid flight ticket and personal identification documents, during the coronavirus period passengers were also required to fill an electronic health alert card before travelling and have proof that they were COVID-19 negative upon arrival at the airport. Other requirements also applied, but varied depending on travel destination and purpose. For instance, people working for the government had to have a letter of assignments. 

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