“There are correlations between the poor safety records of different forms of transport in Indonesia,” Ziva Arifin, president of Aviatory Indonesia, a consultancy in Jakarta, told Al Jazeera. “But each individual sector faces unique challenges, and aviation is the sector that has seen the most significant safety improvements in recent years.”
Indonesia has recorded 104 civilian aircraft accidents and more than 1,300 related deaths since 1945, making it the Asia Pacific’s deadliest country to fly according to the Aviation Safety Network.
Risks rose markedly in 2001, when deregulation gave birth to a slew of new low-cost airlines, including Sriwijaya Air, which started operations two years later.
Amid cut-throat competition, a subsequent price war contributed to poor maintenance and a string of fatal air disasters.
By 2009, the number of accidents per million departing flights had risen to 18.35 compared with a world average of 4.11, according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and Indonesian airlines had been banned from flying to the United States and the European Union.