Batik Air pilots fell asleep mid-flight, Indonesian Transportation Ministry orders probe

Batik Air pilots fell asleep mid-flight.
Batik Air pilots fell asleep mid-flight. Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/ShareAlike 4.0 International

The Indonesian Transport Ministry will launch an investigation after two Batik Air pilots fell asleep while they were in mid-flight in January.

The incident reportedly occurred on Batik Air ID 6723 (BTK6723) flight on January 25.

It was on its way from Southeast Sulawesi to Jakarta.

The flight duration was two hours and 35 minutes.

“We will conduct an investigation and review of the night flight operation in Indonesia regarding the Fatigue Risk Management for Batik Air and other flight operators,” Director General M. Kristi Endah Murni said as per the statement here on Saturday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

The directorate general issued a strong rebuke to the carrier service following the incident.

Murni said that airlines should be attentive to the rest time and quality of their pilots and other flight crew members that could affect the level of alertness while operating aircraft.

Flight crews of BTK6723 have also been grounded according to the standard operational procedure, pending further investigation, she was quoted as saying by Antara.

The director general said that the agency will dispatch their flight inspector authorised on Resolution of Safety Issue (RSI) to investigate the root cause of the incident and recommend mitigation measures to flight operators and supervisors.

“Any penalty will be imposed according to the investigation report conducted by the investigator team,” she said.

Indonesia is a popular tourist destination which is also visited regularly by travellers from India.

In 2023, without direct flights, Bali welcomed over 400,000 Indian tourists.

In terms of overall tourist numbers, Indonesia welcomed a staggering 11.67 million visitors in 2023, almost double the number in 2022, reported Economic Times Travel World.