Privately-owned airlines Batavia Air and Lion Air pledged on Sunday to improve their on-time performance ( OTP ) by taking various measures, after being named by the Transportation Ministry as the worst two performers out of six airlines.
The ministry recorded that Lion Air’s OTP was 66.45 percent, while Batavia was 68.83 percent on average in an assessment conducted from January to April at 24 airports nationwide.
Also assessed were flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, which fared the best at 86.98 percent, followed by Merpati Nusantara Airlines ( 75.6 percent ), Sriwijaya Air ( 74 percent ) and Indonesia Air Asia ( 71.96 percent ).
Lion’s general affairs director Edward Sirait said the airline had added two Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft this month to improve performance.
“With the two additional aircraft, we can maintain our stand-by airplanes without reducing any more flights. Improving operations will result in OTP improvement,” Edward told The Jakarta Post over the phone on Sunday.
He said the airline hoped to put its flight frequency back to normal in the run up to Idul Fitri, when most Indonesian Muslims would travel to their hometowns.
Edward said that Lion had yet to add flights or airplanes to anticipate the peak season.
Batavia Air commercial director Sukirno Sukarna told the Post that it had removed some ineffective routes and focused on human resources training to improve performance ahead of the peak season.
“We will add 3,000 seats in the lead up to Idul Fitri celebrations, including routes to Padang, Palembang, Pekanbaru, Semarang, Surabaya and Surakarta,” he said.
Air transportation director general Herry Bakti Gumay said he told both airlines to improve their OTPs to 80 percent.
“They have to arrange their schedules based on capacity,” Herry said as quoted by Kontan.co.id.
Airlines with low OTP grades had high flight frequencies but were not supported by sufficient personnel or aircraft, Herry added.
The ministry sanctioned Lion Air as of July 19 by ordering the airline to ground 13 aircraft as reserve in anticipation of delays and to increase its aircraft ground times, which would reduce flight frequency on several routes. ( swd )