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Sat, Apr 21, 2007

US Warns Against Flying Indonesian Airlines

Country Says Warning Has No "Influence"

The FAA downgraded Indonesia's oversight rating this week, prompting the US Embassy in Jakarta to issue a warning calling for all American citizens traveling in Indonesia to avoid flying local airliners.

The actions are in response to a series of mishaps this year involving the carrier, two of which were crashes. The FAA has determined Indonesian aviation authorities have not yet complied with international safety standards.

Indonesian Transport Minister Hatta Rajasa said the travel advisory would not affect the nation's aviation industry, according to All Headline News. Although Indonesian aviation authorities admit all local airliners have not yet met international aviation safety regulations.

As ANN reported on March 6, a spokesman for the Indonesian government told CNN approximately 115 passengers were onboard a Garuda Airlines Boeing 737-400 that apparently overshot the runway at Yogyakarta airport in central Java and burst into flames.

On January 1, an Adam Air 737-400 fell from radar screens on a flight from Surabaya to Manado. Searchers recovered some debris from the crash in the sea off South Sulawesi, although no bodies of that plane's 102 passengers and crew have been recovered.

In February, Indonesian low-cost carrier Adam Air was forced to ground a third of its fleet, following a hard landing Wednesday that literally cracked the fuselage of one of its Boeing 737s.

"(The warning) will not have influence on the aviation in the country," Rajasa told reporters in Jakarta.

The US Embassy said, "Whenever possible, Americans traveling to and from Indonesia should fly directly to their destinations on international carriers from countries whose civil aviation authorities meet international aviation safety standards."

FMI: www.osac.gov/Reports/report.cfm?contentID=66800, www.faa.gov

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