In a backflip, the Australian government has given the all clear for its staff and contractors to fly on Lion Air Group’s Batik Air from Perth to Bali.
Yesterday the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a warning on its website saying;
“Following the fatal crash of a Lion Air plane on 29 October 2018, Australian government officials and contractors have been instructed not to fly on Lion Air or their subsidiary airlines. This decision will be reviewed when the findings of the crash investigation are clear.”
But after AirlineRatings.com sought clarification of which subsidiaries were involved DFAT amended the advice to read;
“Following the fatal crash of a Lion Air plane on 29 October 2018, Australian government officials and contractors in Indonesia have been instructed not to fly on Lion Air or their subsidiary airlines that operate outside of Australia.”
The Lion Air Group has a number of subsidiaries including Batik Air which operates into Perth, Australia from Bali, Wings Air as well as a joint venture airline Malindo which also operates to Perth from KL.
Malindo is not involved in the ban either.
Sources at Australia’s regulator the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in Melbourne tell AirlineRatings.com that the government did not consult it or the industry but just applied the ban.
Lion Air recently passed the world’s most stringent safety audit the International Air Transporation Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) which covers over 1000 safety and operational parameters.
The last crash involving a fatality for Lion Air was in 2004, however, the airline has experienced some hull losses in recent years.
The is the first time the Australian Government has banned staff from flying on a major airline.
Indonesian airlines were cleared to fly to the US in 2016 and that year Europe lifted its ban on Lion Air.
The European Commission also lifted its blanket ban on Indonesia carriers in mid-2018 after the country returned mostly above average results in a 2017 review by the International Civil Aviation Organisation Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program.