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 All Flights to Jakarta Now Land in Tangerang, tjonge!

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BerichtOnderwerp: All Flights to Jakarta Now Land in Tangerang, tjonge!   di 2 feb 2016 - 1:25

The Jakarta Globe, Feb 1 2016,

Jakarta. Cabin crew on board flights flying into Soekarno-Hatta, Indonesia's busiest airport, have begun to say "welcome to Tangerang"' instead of "welcome to Jakarta" to the confusion of most passengers, following a request by the mayor of the city where the airport is, indeed, located.

It takes a lot of getting used to, however, aircrew and passengers commented. For 30 years since the airport first opened airline cabin crew have always used the greeting “welcome to Jakarta” upon arriving, but Tangerang Mayor Arief Wismansyah, the first person to air his displeasure about the matter, wanted that to change.

The airport is officially located in the Benda subdistrict of Tangerang in Banten province, but due to its proximity to the better-known Cengkareng subdistrict of West Jakarta, people have long assumed that the airport is located in Cengkareng.

This misconception was even acknowledged by the International Air Transport Association, which gave the airport the code “CGK” to signify Cengkareng.

The Tangerang mayor decided to end the confusion, sending a formal letter of complaint to the airport's operator, state-owned Angkasa Pura II. And last week, the company issued a circular instructing all airlines to change their post-landing greeting.

In his personal blog, aviation expert Gerry Soejatman noted that the changes caused confusion among passengers unfamiliar with the geographical peculiarities of the Greater Jakarta area

“Some [airlines] have already reported confused passengers, whom after hearing the announcement and asked the crew or airline staff, 'I’m going to Jakarta, do I need to get out of the aircraft and report to the ground staff?'” Gerry wrote in a post published on Saturday (30/1).

“If an Indonesian [does] not know that Tangerang is next to Jakarta, it’s almost a sure bet that almost all foreigners do not know either. Imagine [...] if foreign business people decided not to do business in Jakarta thinking, 'heck, I can’t even fly there!'” Gerry added.

Soekarno-Hatta International Airport was the 12th busiest airport in the world in 2014 according to Airports Council International, with over 57 million passengers.

Twitter user @gilbertaue wrote on Friday that Garuda Indonesia cabin crew had started improvising: "Just heard on GA 'welcome to Soekarno-Hatta airport in Tangerang, Banten. And welcome to #Jakarta.'"

Gerry, the expert, noted that the new requirement would be impossible to enforce.
“What would happen to carriers who do not heed to the request? Would any punishments be dished out and if so, on what regulatory basis? If foreign airlines do not have to comply to the request while local airlines do, is this not discrimination against Indonesian airlines?”

Gerry said the requirement is not unique. Planes arriving at East Java's Juanda airport are also barred from saying “welcome to Surabaya,” the city listed in the passengers' tickets. Two years ago airlines were told to change their greetings from “Welcome to Juanda Airport Surabaya” to “Welcome to Surabaya Juanda Airport in Sidoarjo,” the district where the airport is actually located.

Another aviation expert Alvin Lie said the greeting change is normal, adding that it only takes some getting used to.

“I think the change is a matter of practice because we've been used 'Jakarta' for decades and it would take time for people to understand and get used to it,” Alvin told the Jakarta Globe on Monday.

“Some people said the move is all about the local government's ego, but I think it's normal to promote their city,” Alvin said.

It was not immediately clear whether the Tangerang mayor was making the same demand of journalists.

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