Singapore Airlines had planned to launch a new Singapore-Jakarta-Sydney service later this month as we reported in October.

But now the news is that the launch date has been postponed.

The planned B777 service would have operated Jakarta-Sydney using “fifth freedom” rights  (passengers carried between two countries by an airline of a third) in the same way as SIA now operates between Manchester and Houston, Texas.

SIA had intended to operate three times a week. It would have been a useful addition to SIA’s network. It would have allowed travellers to combine visits to both destinations on one trip.

And between Jakarta and Sydney it would have provided more capacity and choice on a route which many think is underserved at present.

For example, both Garuda and Qantas each operate four flight a week between Jakarta and Sydney.  Yet this is a route where one might imagine there would be at least a daily service by each of these carriers.

But in a sudden change of plan the Indonesian civil aviation authority has now withdrawn permission for SIA to operate the Jakarta-Sydney section of the route.

It will come as a blow to the many people who have already made bookings.

Channel News Asia reports the starting date has been postponed.

The official excuse is “runway maintenance” at Jakarta airport.  No revised launch date has yet been made available.

As reported previously in Business Traveller, Jakarta’s weak runway has caused problems for airlines using this airport.

As an aside many media publications are claiming this was intended to be a “new route.”

But it is not.  SIA used to operate the same route with narrow-bodied B707s in the 1970s.

It was one of SIA’s original routings and indeed it was one of the first SIA flights I sampled back in those days.

So in reality SIA simply wants to relaunch one of its original services.