Indonesian authorities have announced sanctions against five airlines that they claim have been operating flights without valid permits.
The crackdown follows the crash of Air Asia flight 8501 last month (see news, December 29).
Last week, the airline was forced to suspend its Surabaya to Singapore route after reports circulated that it did not have the authorisation to operate the aforementioned route on Sundays — the day of the tragedy.
Indonesian transport minister Ignasius Jonan said the five airlines — national carrier Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Wings Air, Susi Air and TransNusa— have all been flying some routes despite not possessing the required permits.
In response, some 61 flights have been suspended, pending re-application of the permits.
Jonan told the Wall Street Journal that there is no indication of corruption within the affected carriers. Instead, the cause was attributed to "administrative negligence".
No lasting sanctions are to be expected, with Indonesia's Ministry of Transportation willing to consider approvals for the permits as soon as the five airlines have re-applied for them.