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Garuda to cut flights due to SARS JAKARTA - Indonesia's state-owned airline, Garuda Indonesia, said on Sunday it would cut services within Asia by up to 30 percent due to falling passenger numbers caused by a deadly flu-like virus. The flag carrier said it would slash flights by more than half between Jakarta and neighbouring Singapore -- one of its most popular services -- and temporarily halt other flights to the island state where the virus has killed six people.
"We're looking at potentially lower revenue this year because of decreasing passenger rates, thus, in order to avoid losses we're cutting flights services to the Asia region by 20 to 30 percent," Garuda spokesman, Pudjobroto, told Reuters. "We are going to temporarily stop flights from Medan to Singapore starting tomorrow until May 15 because there are no seats booked," he added, referring to the North Sumatran capital where Garuda flies four times a week to Singapore.
Asian airlines have been especially hard hit by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which has killed almost 90 people worldwide and infected more than 2,500 since emerging in southern China in November. Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation, declared SARS an infectious and dangerous disease on Thursday and said anyone who avoided being examined for possible SARS infection or interfered with investigations could face up to a year in jail.
There are no confirmed cases of SARS in Indonesia but several people in the past week have been treated as though they had the virus. "At the moment there is only one person in hospital under observation for SARS. That patient is a 54-year old woman who is in a Jakarta hospital and who had been in contact with someone from an affected country," said Dr Nyoman Kandun, an adviser to Indonesia's health minister.
"But all of the other people who have been under observation have gone home," he added. Garuda, which has also intensified health checks for its cabin crew, said flights to Shanghai, Hongkong and Guangzhou would also be cut. The airline flies to more than 20 cities worldwide.



Posted in Garuda Indonesia @ 06 April 2003 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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