More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal

More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal
Volkswagen has admitted it installed illegal software into 11 million 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel engines worldwide (AFP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Volkswagen emissions scandal

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission
Analsyts say it is irresponsible to link the crash of a Ukraine International Airline Boeing 737-800 to the 737 MAX accidents (AFP Photo/INA FASSBENDER)

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 commercial jet.

QZ8501 (AirAsia)

Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Action Needed Now to Avoid ‘Catastrophe’ in Jakarta

The Jakarta Globe, Emmy Fitri

Motorists stuck in traffic in Central Jakarta. (Photo: Jurnasyanto Sukarno., JG)

Inextricable traffic jams, even on toll roads, barely breathable air, heavily contaminated water and dwindling open spaces — problems suffered daily by Jakarta residents — may seem intolerable now, but experts warn that it will only become worse unless concerted efforts are made to fix the mess that is Indonesia’s capital.

Urban planning expert Darundono sums up the current path Jakarta is on today in one word — “catastrophic.”

Each day, almost 10 million commuters spend hours on Jakarta’s roads. But transportation analyst Budi Santosa, from Trisakti University, says it has long been predicted, in several studies, that by 2014, traffic jams in the capital are likely to reach total gridlock as a result of the exponential increase in the number of vehicles plying an insufficient road network.

“A viable solution is to design a mass rapid transportation system to reduce the vehicle population. We cannot afford to build another inner-city toll road or more streets because we have run out of land for such massive construction,” Budi said, adding that so far there appear to be no breakthroughs visible on the horizon.

Jakarta, however, is not only running out of land for more roads. The capital is choking from the unfettered conversion of open spaces into concrete.

Darundono says that when he designed the Jakarta Spatial Plan for 1965-1985, the designated green areas accounted for between 26 percent and 28 percent of the city’s surface, but today they make up only about 10 percent.

“The government has been inconsistent in its implementation of its own plans. Parks, green spaces and public cemeteries are being turned into shopping malls and government offices,” he says.

The combined effect of the sheer number of vehicles out on the road each day and the lack of green open spaces that could offset their fumes has severely degraded the quality of the city’s environment.

According to the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), transportation causes 70 percent of Jakarta’s air pollution, and the city produces 13,000 tons of carbon dioxide daily.

As a result, on most days of the year — 347 out of 365 in 2006, to be exact — Jakartans are breathing in polluted air.

It is no wonder then, that a third of the capital’s residents suffer from some form of respiratory tract infection each month.

In fact, a World Resources Institute paper says respiratory tract infections account for 12.6 percent of mortality in Jakarta — more than twice the national average.

Admitting that the capital, home to as many as 12 million people, is mired in environmental problems, the acting head of the Jakarta Environment Management Board (BPLHD), Ridwan Panjaitan, says programs to address each and every issue are up and running, including the enforcement of emission tests and the smoking ban.

“But we cannot work by ourselves because some programs are closely related to other agencies like the health agency and the traffic police. That becomes our challenge, to synergize the programs with other agencies because unless we have a common understanding then we cannot work together,” he says.

Returning home at the end of the day, more than five million Jakartans will scarcely find rest and solace in their small, cramped houses in the capital’s rapidly expanding slum areas, where basic services such as water supply and sanitation are minimal, if they exist at all.

The government’s efforts to build thousands of low-cost apartments for the poor have so far been criticized as only adding to the problems, instead of being a solution.

“There will be massive groundwater use,” Darundono said.

Excessive groundwater extraction has long been flagged as a major problem in Jakarta, causing the land to sink by an average of 5 to 10 centimeters a year, according to a study by the World Bank.

The capital’s water supply operators have been unable to connect hundreds of thousands of households, particularly those in slum areas — where the thousands who migrate to Jakarta each year in search of work live.

With the confluence of these urban woes threatening the future of Indonesia’s capital, real solutions must be found soon.

On Nov. 10-12, international experts will converge on Jakarta to map out a sustainable path for the capital.

These solutions are urgently needed to avoid the catastrophe that Darundono says we are currently headed toward.

Related Articles:

Climate change to affect marine tourism

Jakarta Predicted to be Underwater By 2012

Friday, October 30, 2009

Jakarta to relocate ‘delman’ to Ragunan Zoo

Indah Setiawati, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 10/30/2009 5:34 PM

The Jakarta Administration will start relocating delman (traditional horse-drawn carts) from the National Monument Park in Central Jakarta to Ragunan Zoo in South Jakarta on Saturday.

"The delman drivers will be relocated to Ragunan from Oct. 31," city secretary Muhayat said Friday.

Over the past two years, delman drivers have protested in front of City Hall to demand the city lift a ban against them operating inside the National Monument Park.

The Central Jakarta administration issued the ban in 2007, saying the horses' excrement created bad smells and corroded the paving inside the park.

There are about 250 of the carts operating around Jakarta, the Betawi Delman Struggle Association says, 90 of them on the perimeter of the National Monument Park.

Transport Minister Comes Out Swinging, Fires Jakarta Rail Officials

The Jakarta Globe, Putri Prameshwari & Febriamy Hutapea

PT Kereta Api staffers standing next to the doors of an executive train during a ceremony earlier this year. (Photo: Yudhi Sukma Wijaya, JG)

In a show of what can happen when a new sheriff is in town, Indonesia's Minister of Transportation Freddy Numberi has fired two top railway officials for failing to be at their posts when he conducted a surprise inspection at one of Jakarta’s busiest train stations on Monday.

The newly-appointed minister ordered the dismissals of both the chief of Kota station in West Jakarta, Jatun, and his deputy, Suyatno, for failing to be in their offices when he visited.

Ignasius Jonan, the chairman of state-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api, said Freddy had instructed the company to prioritize the quality of its passenger service.

“We appreciate the minister’s decision because Jatun had indeed failed to carry out his responsibilities,” Jonan said.

Jatun was reportedly replaced by the former head of Bekasi station, Rudi Krisno, and moved to Kereta Api’s headquarters in Bandung, where he will handle administrative duties.

Taufik Kurniawan, chairman of the House of Representatives’ Commission V, which oversees transportation affairs, said he supported Freddy’s decision to dismiss the officials for neglecting their duties.

“The absence of a station chief could be dangerous should something bad happen,” he said.

Taufik declined to comment on whether he felt the decision by Freddy was excessive, only saying ministers had different styles of leadership.

“Leadership styles are different from one minister to the next,” he said. “As long as his move was aimed at improving the performance of the transportation industry, we support it.”

Garuda Flight Makes Emergency Landing With Loose Wheel

The Jakarta Globe, Putri Prameshwari

A Garuda Indonesia plane lands at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. (File Photo: Dimas Ardian, Bloomberg News)

A Garuda Indonesia jetliner made an emergency landing at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Friday after one of its wheels became loose, officials said. No passengers were hurt.

Pujobroto, Garuda’s Corporate Secretary, said a Boeing 737-300 had to return to Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport 15 minutes after it took off for Aceh after the problem occurred with one of the left wheels.

“The plane’s Captain Johnny Siregar felt the wheel was off,” he said, “and according to the procedure, he had to return to base.”

The plane then circled in the area of the airport for about an hour to burn fuel before landing safely.

Flight GA-142 took off at 8:14 a.m. carrying 49 passengers, Pujobroto said. “All passengers were transferred to the next flight at 11,” he added.

Bambang Ervan, a spokesman for the transportation ministry, said an inspector from the ministry’s airworthiness department had been deployed to check the jet’s condition.

“The plane is grounded until maintenance and repairs are finished,” Bambang said.

J.A. Barata from the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) said he had sent two investigators to probe the incident.

“We will check whether it was caused by a mechanical problem or not,” he said.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Indonesia's Dirty Toilets Are Turning Off Tourists, Says Transport Minister

The Jakarta Globe
, Anita Rachman

Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi said on Tuesday that pushing for clean toilets at the nation’s ports was going to be one of his priorities for his first 100 days in administration.

He said that he has been conducting inspections at some ports and found that people are still dumping trash irresponsibly and that they weren’t keeping their toilets clean.

“I went to the Ambon port, it was filled with trash,” Freddy told journalists at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport after inspecting hajj pilgrimage flights.

He said that Indonesians should be aware that keeping the environment clean is very important, especially for attracting tourists.

“People, they have money, then they come to Indonesia and see that its toilets are very dirty, so why should they stay? They have money, they can choose somewhere else with cleaner toilets [to visit],” he said.

He said that he will ask all departments under his control to pay more attention to hygiene issues.

“We should change our culture,” he said. “This program is not only for my 100 first days in administration, but forever.”

Freddy said that people should be more disciplined. He said that Indonesia should be able to develop so it is better than other countries.

“This is not a poor country,” he said.

He added that the ministry would conduct raids on the street vendors around the airport. Freddy said that it was acceptable for people to sell things inside the airport, however, they should understand that they need to have authorization.

Related Article:

Editorial: It's not just the messy toilets!

Indonesia to launch satellite for disaster mitigation
, Deng Shasha, 2009-10-27 17:17:30

JAKARTA, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Indonesia Aeronautics and Space Agency (LAPAN) prepared to launch a satellite in 2011, spokesperson of the LAPAN Elly Kuntjahyowati said here Tuesday.

The satellite is aimed to address communication problem in post-disaster phase and to provide a picture of the affected areas quickly, which can be used in the assessment of the natural disaster.

The plan came out as Indonesia, which sits on a vulnerable quake-hit zone called the Pacific Ring of Fire, has suffered from a series of major quakes recently.

Quakes measuring 7.3 and 7.6 on the Richter's scale killed more than 1,000 people and destroyed many buildings in West Java and West Sumatra recently. The country had experienced difficulties in communication after a 7.6 magnitude quake struck West Sumatra and destroyed telecommunication infrastructure.

The satellite will cover the whole of Indonesia's territory, the spokesperson said. "The satellite can support communication in an emergency situation," she told Xinhua over phone.

Head of Space Technology of LAPAN Heru Robertus said that the satellite did not use a permanent devise on earth. It only used mobile equipment. "So there is no possibility of communication being cut down because of the destruction of the infrastructure on land," he said.

The spokesperson added that the satellite could also take real-time picture of the disaster areas, so people can make a fast assessment on the severity of the natural disaster.

She said that the satellite would be launched with rocket belonging to the Indian Space Research Organization. A launching contract had been signed, said Kuntjahyowati.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Air pollution in Jakarta drops on car-free day

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 10/25/2009 5:42 PM

The car-free day is effective in reducing air pollution in Jakarta, says the city environment agency.

The Jakarta Environmental Management Agency (BPLHD) announced on Sunday that the amount of dust particles had decreased by 34 percent, Carbon Monoxide (CO) by 68 percent, and Nitrogen Monoxide (NO) by 80 percent during the last car-free day.

"That is the result from our analysis seven days before and after the car-free day," Peni Susanti, the head of Jakarta BPLHD, said during the car-free day on Sunday, as quoted by

The number of people that took part in car-free day increased to 15,000 this Sunday, the highest figure since the start of the initiative.

The Car-free day is held every second and last Sunday of the month from Jl. Sudirman to Jl M.H. Thamrin.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Garuda to add flights on Surakarta to Jakarta route

The Jakarta Post
, Jakarta | Wed, 10/21/2009 9:09 PM

National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia said Wednesday it would add flights to serve the Jakarta-Surakarta route in November amid growing demand.

"We will fly early in the morning so that businessmen from Surakarta don't have to fly from Yogyakarta," Syamsuddin, the Garuda general manager in Surakarta, said.

As of today, Garuda departs from Surakarta to Jakarta at 7.45 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m., but with the additional flights, Garuda will change their departure schedule from Surakarta to 6:15 a.m., 8:05 a.m., 12:50 p.m. and 4:40 p.m.

"That's the new schedule, based on market demand," Syamsuddin said.

Garuda to fly from Dubai

Hotelier Middle East
, by Gemma Greenwood on Oct 20, 2009

Garuda Indonesia will fly from Dubai to both Amsterdam and Jakarta from June 2010.

The service is expected to give Dutch airline KLM - which currently offers daily services from Dubai - a run for its money.

The Indonesian airline said the "much improved business and economic relations between Indonesia and the Netherlands, which brings about a rise in tourist flow into Indonesia from Europe", had prompted the carrier to start the service.

Garuda Indonesia will fly from Jakarta at 21.00 and arrive in Dubai (DXB) at 02.09 local time, departing again at 03.15 and arriving in Amsterdam (SPL) at 08.00 local time.

From Amsterdam, GA 89 departs at 10.00, arriving in Dubai at 18.30, departing again at 19.45 and arriving in Jakarta at 07.10.

The route will be served by A330-200 with 222 seats - 36 passengers in business and 186 in economy.

US hails Jakarta's environmental protection efforts

Indah Setiawati,
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 10/21/2009 6:45 PM

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson praised the Jakarta administration Wednesday for its environmental protection and green transportation programs.

Jackson said she was impressed by the way the city of Jakarta and Governor Fauzi Bowo dealt with economic growth without having to sacrifice environmental issues.

“Growth in the economy, for him to have investment in mass transit, car-free day, and further efforts to address air pollution, I think is quite laudable,” she said.

Jackson, who represented US President Barack Obama in the inauguration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday, said EPA would continue working on the issue of air and water quality as well as environmental policy.

Fauzi said he told Jackson during the meeting about various environmental problems facing the city, including air and water pollution, waste management problems in North Jakarta Bay and the rise in sea level.

He said the city issued many regulations to protect the environment, but their implementation remained a problem.

The governor said EPA would provide technical assistance on how to familiarize the regulations and enforce them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Transportation revitalization awaits Freddy

Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Cikeas | Mon, 10/19/2009 5:48 PM

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Freddy Numberi might take the transportation ministerial post, to care of the country's transportation, which has seen a string of deadly accidents in the past few years.

"(President-elect Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) gave (me) orders to revitalize transportation," the Democratic Party's politician said Monday, after being interviewed by Yudhoyono and Vice President-elect Boediono at Yudhoyono's private residence in Cikeas, West Java.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Four killed in Manila as freight plane reportedly dating from the 1930s crashes into warehouse

Firefighters in Manila battle flames in the spot the DC-3 went down.

A propeller-driven plane, reportedly from the 1930's, has crashed in the Philippines, killing four people.

Officials say the DC-3 plane scraped the roofs of 14 houses in Manila before crashing into an abandoned warehouse and bursting into flames.

No-one was reported injured on the ground but residents said two houses close to the warehouse caught fire.

Minutes after taking off from Manila airport, the pilot asked permission to make an emergency landing.

The freight plane was heading towards Puerto Princesa City in Palawan province southwest of the capital, Manila airport security manager Angel Atutubo said.

Flight records showed there were seven people aboard the aircraft, including the pilot, but officials are yet to confirm this number.

The DC-3 was developed in the US in the 1930s but is still in use in many places around the world, mainly for transporting cargo.

Business class filling up in Asian airlines

Reuters, by Laura MacInnis, Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:59pm EDT

GENEVA (Reuters) - Asian airlines are starting to sell more premium as well as economy seats, outperforming other regions where economic fears continue to weigh on travel, the International Air Transport Association said on Thursday.

In its latest industry snapshot, IATA said that increasing numbers of passengers were taking long-haul flights within Asia alongside the export-driven economic rebound that has put China and other countries on a steadier footing.

"The strongest rise in economic and business activity has been seen in the Asia-Pacific regions, where private sector balance sheets are less encumbered with debt and bad assets," it said, describing full cabins in the Far East.

However, the Geneva-based group cautioned that short-haul European business travel "remains extremely weak" and North Atlantic flights are just starting to show improvement. "The turnaround in economy travel has been driven by consumer confidence in major economies, which has been rising since hitting a low in February," it said, while warning that the breakaway Asian results reflect "the uneven nature of the current economic upturn."

IATA Director-General Giovanni Bisignani said earlier this week in New York that global airlines would have to wait until the middle of 2010 for sustained improvement in business class demand, which powers profits in the sector.

International trade flowing from and to developed economies must pick up "to warrant a substantial improvement in premium travel," Thursday's Premium Traffic Monitor said.

"The upturn in premium travel numbers still appears fragile, given the still modest rise in international trade and other cross-border business activity," it said.

"Given the volatile month to month past pattern in premium traffic and the relatively weak upturn in world trade, some fall back in premium travel in September would not be unexpected."

In economy class, which makes up 90 percent of traffic but a lesser share of revenues, around 70 percent, IATA said that "a further rise in consumer confidence will be necessary to generate positive growth."

IATA, whose 230 members include British Airways (BAY.L), Cathay Pacific (0293.HK), United Airlines (UAUA.O) and Emirates EMIRA.UL, has said the global airline industry will lose $11 billion in 2009 as a result of the recession.

"Premium revenues are now improving but, at an estimated 30 percent down year-on-year in August, there is an awful long way to go before positive growth resumes," it said on Thursday.

(Editing by Stephanie Nebehay and Rupert Winchester)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Man Arrested at Jakarta Airport With Drugs in Shoes

The Jakarta Globe

A Malaysian man attempting to smuggle illegal drugs into the country inside his shoes was arrested by customs officers at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport on Wednesday.

The suspect, identified as Han Mu Kit, was arrested with a kilogram of methamphetamine hidden in his shoes. The drugs have an estimated street value of Rp 1.4 billion ($150,000).

The suspect arrived in Jakarta from Hong Kong. He said he was forced to carry the drugs to pay off gambling debts in Thailand.

Customs official Gatot Sugeng Wibowo said the suspect hid half a kilogram of drugs in each of his shoes.

He said the suspect was to deliver the drugs to a hotel in Jakarta where the majority of guests are Malaysians.

“This is a new modus operandi. We have never had a case where a suspect tried to hide drugs in his shoes,” Gatot told Metro TV.

Police are investigating the suspect’s contacts here to determine whether he is part of a larger drug smuggling network.

It is unclear whether the case will trigger new customs procedures at the airport.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Malang Airport runway damaged, flights halted

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 10/11/2009 10:31 AM

Flights an the Malang Airport had been halted since Saturday due to runway damage, a local transportation agency official said Sunday.

"The flights are stopped temporarily until we finish the runway repairs," Malang transportation agency head Soefianto said as quoted by Antara news agency.

Garuda Airlines, Batavia Air, and Sriwijaya Air serve the Malang-Jakarta route.

Passengers who have booked tickets to fly with the three airlines in Malang would be transferred to the Juanda Airport, Surabaya.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lion Air to use RNP for safety

Nani Afrida, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 10/06/2009 3:57 PM

Airlines firm Lion Air will improve its safety by using Required Navigation Performance (RNP) instrument procedures which will be used for its Boeings 737-900ER.

Lion Production Director Capt. R Tata told journalists that the RNP instrument was part of a global navigation system which can add more safety when the planes landed or took off at certain airports already equipped with RNP.

Lion Air plans to apply the new procedures to its flights to and from Ambon, Manado, and Makassar.

The procedures will also minimize fuel consumption and related incidents. (Naf)

GE sees Indonesia as regional locomotive assembly hub

The Jakarta Post | Mon, 10/05/2009 1:52 PM

General Electric is considering making Indonesia its assembly hub for locomotives for the Asia market, hoping to capitalize on the rising demand in the country and other countries in the region.

CEO Jeffrey Immelt said last week that the assembly plant would be developed in cooperation with local partners which already had long experience and a track record in the locomotive business.

“I think Indonesia could become a center of excellence for the locomotive business in the [Asian] region. It could be a great location from which to export to other countries in the region,” he said, after addressing a discussion entitled “Innovation as the driving Force for Economic Transformation”.

He said Indonesia was capable of functioning as a locomotive assembly hub as it already had railway-related industries, with have long experience and good quality human resources, plus the technological capacity to develop the business.

Recently, GE, which was ranked no. 4 in BusinessWeek’s 2008 among the world’s most innovative companies, has secured an order from the state-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api to make 20 new locomotives at the total price of US$40 million. The locomotives will be delivered between 2010 and 2011.

Satya Heragandhi, GE Transportation’s Southeast Asia Sales Director, said that for the next five years the state-owned operator would need about 150 locomotives valued at $300 million to improve its railway services in Java and Sumatra, following the government’s decision to liberalize the railway business, which has previously been a PT Kereta Api monopoly.

In the period 2004 to 2009 PT Kereta Api had ordered 10 locomotives from GE and all had been delivered, he said.

“As the railway industry would be liberalized by 2010, and there is a commitment on the part of the Indonesian government to rejuvenate the railway services in Indonesia, particularly in Sumatra and Kalimantan, so there will be a boom in railway-related businesses,” he said.

He said the locomotives were not completely made in the US at Erie.

“Only the engines and some key parts are made there. The other components are made and assembled by PT INKA.

“I think the local content of locomotives [assembled in Indonesia] has increased from just 15 percent five years ago to more than 21 percent now,” he said.

Kereta Api’s President Director, Ignasius Jonan said recently that the company was committed to improving its services, including safety, comfort and the punctuality of its train services.

He said his company’s development would be directed in future more towards freight services rather than towards passenger services as was the present case.

Satya noted that the growing investments in the locomotive sector were partly the results of a meeting in 2006 between Immelt, his company’s CEO, and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

They had discussed the possibilities for GE investing in the country’s infrastructure, particularly in the railway sector.

GE Transportation is a subsidiary of the widely diversified business group GE, which is a leading global player in railroads, marine and shipping, mining and drilling and in turbines and wind generation.

Monday, October 5, 2009

President asks TNI to get ready for more disasters

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 10/05/2009 12:34 PM

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called on the Indonesian Military (TNI) to remain well prepared for quick response operations to deal with natural disasters in the future.

The President said the military operations other tan war would be a daunting challenge facing the TNI given the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters.

“Indonesia us situated in a disaster-prone region, therefore disaster may strike at any time. TNI has to develop capability and preparedness for quick deployment to disaster-hit areas like West Java, West Sumatra and Jambi,” Yudhoyono said in his speech in a ceremony to mark the TNI’s 64th anniversary on Monday.

The President also thanked the TNI for its contribution to the disaster mitigation efforts in the earthquake-devastated West Java, West Sumatra and Jambi.

TNI Chief Gen. Djoko Santoso said the armed forces had deployed personnel from North Sumatra-based Bukit Barisan military command and sent two helicopters, six Hercules cargo planes, a Fokker plane and a Hercules VIP plane for the humanitarian mission in West Sumatra.

Related Articles:

President congratulates TNI on 64th anniversary

Sunday, October 4, 2009

India pilots in mid-air 'scuffle'

Pilots and cabin crew have come to blows on an international flight bound for India, media reports say.

The scuffle is said to have begun as an argument in the plane's cockpit over claims of sexual harassment but spilled into the galley, startling passengers.

Air India has ordered an inquiry into the incident

One pilot and one air hostess suffered bruises, as punches were thrown.

The incident took place over Pakistan on an Air India flight from the United Arab Emirates to Delhi, with 106 passengers and seven crew on board.

Indian police are investigating the incident, which took place at around 0430 local time on Saturday (2300 on Friday GMT).

The cabin crew alleged that pilots sexually harassed a 24-year-old air hostess, who filed a complaint once the plane landed.

But the Times of India newspaper said the pilots made a counter-claim, saying that the harassment claim was an attempt to divert attention from accusations of misconduct against a male flight attendant.

Air India said it had ordered an inquiry into the incident, and had grounded all the staff involved.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Air fare to Padang skyrockets

Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang | Sat, 10/03/2009 4:16 PM

Passengers wishing to fly to quake-hit Padang in West Sumatra to visit relatives and family members have complained of skyrocketing air fare, which has been sold thrice the normal price.

“As if to add insult to injury, I was asked to pay Rp 1.6 million (US$150) for a one-way ticket, while normally it only cost Rp 500,000. This is crazy,” said Shinta Firdaus, 35, a Tangerang resident who wished to see her relatives who were affected by the disaster.

Another passenger, Irwandi, said he used to pay between Rp 400,000 and 500,000 but now he was told by an airline ticketing staff that the air fare had soared to Rp 1.3 million.

Hana Simatupang, spokeswoman for Sriwijaya Air, blamed the skyrocketing price on scalpers who were seeking benefits from the rising demand.

“We follow the government’s regulations, therefore it is impossible for us to sell ticket above the ceiling price,” she said.

“There are many ticket scalpers operating in the airport now and we call on people to only buy tickets directly at our ticket counter at the airport.”

During a raid conducted on Friday, airport security officers arrested five alleged ticket scalpers.

Herry Bhakti, director general for air transportation at the Ministry of Transportation, said that airline companies had agreed to set the ceiling price for return ticket to Padang from Jakarta at Rp 1 million, in a show of sympathy for victims of the earthquake.

Several airlines have further reduced air fares, including Mandala Air (Rp 600,000), Lion Air (Rp 700,000), Sri Wijaya Air (Rp. 900,000) and Garuda (Rp 700,000). They also offer a 50 percent discount to journalists and volunteers, but only 25 seats available for them every day.

Friday, October 2, 2009

KLM, Garuda to resume deal

Novan Iman Santosa, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 10/02/2009 1:33 PM

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is ready to resume its interline agreement with Garuda Indonesia, after the Indonesian flag carrier was allowed back into European airspace.

The Air France KLM country manager for Indonesia, Axel Colen, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday the interline agreement with Garuda had been in place long before the latter was banned from European airspace after a slew of air accidents in Indonesia."

Now that the ban has been lifted, we are ready to resume the agreement," he said.

"We still have to wait two to three weeks before we can fully implement it again, because we have to wait for some technical problems to be resolved."

Colen added both airlines were working to enable their ticketing systems "to talk to each other in issuing the e-tickets".

An interline agreement allows two airlines to have two different flights on one ticket, thus reducing the hassle for travelers.

"For example, a passenger can fly from Surabaya to Jakarta with Garuda, and then continue to fly to Amsterdam with KLM," Colen said.

"Each airline will still have its own code in each sector it serves."

Colen said it would different from the codeshare agreement, in which all codes belong to an airline, even if the passenger flies with partner airlines.

When asked when would KLM would ink a codeshare agreement with Garuda, Colen said it would be the second stage after the interline agreement.

"But KLM passengers will be able to enjoy Garuda's vast network already, even before the codeshare agreement is made," he said.

Colen was speaking on the sidelines of a press conference to commemorate the 85th anniversary of KLM's first intercontinental flight, from Amsterdam to Jakarta, at the time the world's longest scheduled route.

Also attending the conference were Marnix Fruitema, the Air France KLM senior vice president for Asia Pacific, and Paul Rombeek, the Air France KLM general manager for Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.

That first flight on Oct. 1, 1924, only five years after KLM had been established, was made by a Fokker F-VII from Schiphol Airport.

The airplane was registered H-NACC and named Pelikaan.

In September 1929, the flight was made into a regular fortnightly service when the travel time was shortened to 12 days.

The service was then improved over time to a weekly and then twice-weekly flight.

KLM currently flies to route with a fleet of Boeing 737-200s and 777-300ERs in a time of 12 hours, with a short stop in Kuala Lumpur.

Fruitema said the Indonesian market had huge potential, adding Air France KLM would continue to invest and explore opportunities here, as well as improve its services.

"Expansion plans are always in our strategic outlook," he said at the press conference.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

12 extra flights for Jakarta-Padang route

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 10/01/2009 9:23 PM

The Transportation Ministry has issued 12 flight permits for five airlines to fly from Jakarta to Padang and back, an official said Thursday.

Ministry spokesman Bambang S. Ervan told the additional flights were needed to accommodate the greatly increased demand for tickets to Padang, after the city was hit by a massive earthquake Wednesday.

Bambang added Batavia Air had added three flights to Padang, Lion Air three flights, Sriwijaya Air one flight, Riau Airlines one flight and Garuda Indonesia four flights.

"For those who need to fly to Padang, or from Padang to Jakarta, you can contact us at our information centers at Padang's Minangkabau Airport, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, or Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport,” Bambang said.

“You don't need to come to our office. Just go to the airport and call us to reserve your seat.

"This is emergency situation so everything will be dealt with faster," he added.