Asia Briefs: Lion Air barred from adding flight routes

Lion Air barred from adding flight routes

JAKARTA • Indonesia's biggest low-cost airline, Lion Air, will be barred from adding domestic or international flight routes for six months, a transport ministry official said yesterday.

"The sanction is so that Lion Air improves its management and flight operations," ministry spokesman Hemi Pramuraharjo told reporters, citing repeated flight delays.

On Wednesday, the transport ministry said it would suspend the in-house ground handling operations of Lion Air, and another budget carrier, Indonesia AirAsia, while it investigated possible errors in handling passengers.


Duterte picks foreign minister

DAVAO CITY • The former head of the Philippines' Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accepted President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's offer for him to head the foreign ministry for a year.

Mr Perfecto Yasay Jr, 69, was head of the SEC in 2000, when he linked then President Joseph Estrada to a stock market scandal. His testimony helped build a case that led to Mr Estrada's impeachment and ouster in 2001.

Mr Yasay and Mr Duterte were roommates at a dormitory in Manila when they were law students.

Mr Duterte, 71, had promised the foreign ministry to his running mate, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, 45. But Mr Cayetano lost in his bid to be vice-president, and so is barred by law from assuming a Cabinet post till one year after his run. Mr Yasay will be holding the position for Mr Cayetano.

Raul Dancel

Philippine economy grew 6.9% in Q1

MANILA • The Philippines' economy grew a better-than- expected 6.9 per cent in the first quarter, the government said yesterday, putting it on track to meet full-year targets and making it one of Asia's best performers for the three-month period.

The GDP figure beat economist forecasts of about 6.6 per cent and marks the highest quarterly growth in the Philippines since the end of 2014. It puts the economic expansion during outgoing President Benigno Aquino's six-year term at just over 6 per cent, the highest on record for the country.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe