Indonesia’s transportation ministry has eased aircraft load factor restrictions, as the country’s scheduled passenger airline industry returns to the skies.

In a notice published on June 9, the ministry said coronavirus travel restrictions were being amended, including the maximum 50% load factor on flights, and changes will be made to airport capacities. Mandatory testing for the coronavirus is still required, with passengers needing to take polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or rapid tests before departure to ensure they are free from the virus.

The revised regulations come as a growing number of Indonesian carriers resume scheduled operations. Garuda Indonesia president Irfan Sebuahutra on June 9 said the airline will implement a load factor maximum of 70% as this will still comply with social distancing regulations, BisnisNews reported. The carrier has cautioned that its revenue has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and cancelled Hajj flights, and it may be forced to raise fares. The airline has grounded 70% of its fleet and reported a 91% drop in passenger numbers in April 2020 compared with the year before, and is seeking loans and financial assistance.

Lion Air had planned to resume scheduled domestic and international flights from June 5 but only resumed domestic services on June 10 in order to give passengers more time to adjust to revised restrictions. Wings Air (Indonesia) and Batik Air, members of the Lion Air Group, also resumed flights on June 10, Lion Air said.

Indonesia AirAsia, meanwhile, plans to resume domestic flights from June 19, its president Veranita Yosephine Sinaga told Bisnis, after several postponements. It ceased scheduled international and domestic services in April.

TransNusa said it will resume flights from June 22 on eastern Indonesian routes, with additional routes being opened up again from June 30.