Sriwijaya looks to full service expansion in 2013
Privately-owned Sriwijaya Air is planning to expand into full-service flights in the next two to three years while it prepares to meet the requirements.
“All of our planes will have eight business class seats next year in preparations for becoming a full-service airline in near future,” Sriwijaya commercial director Toto Nursatyo told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
The airline currently has a fleet of 30 planes consisting of Boeing 737-200s and the 737-300/400/500 Classic Series, he said.
The aging 737-200 series will be replaced by Boeing 737-800 NGs and Embraer E-190s next year to develop Sriwijaya’s network.
The first Boeing 737-800 will arrive in September 2012, while the Embraer E190 arrives in August 2012, he said.
The airline has ordered 20 of each type of plane.
“The Embraer E190s will be used for lower-density routes as feeders for routes covered by Sriwijaya’s Boeing series,” he said.
Denpasar–Labuan Bajo, Denpasar–Waingapu and Denpasar–Bima are among the routes prepared for E190s.
Several requirements the airline has yet to meet include the size of its fleet, a business lounge and meals for passengers.
Toto said a full-service airline should have at least 31 airplanes with a business lounge and meals for passengers.
“We are still a mid-level service airline because we charge 90 percent of the government’s ceiling price for airfare and we do not have business class in our airplanes,” he said.
He added that as a full-service airline, Sriwijaya would have to serve meals on flights during lunch and dinner hours.
The airline currently only serves light snacks on its flights.
Toto added that the airline was also preparing its human resources to meet the demands.
The privately-owned airline is aiming to grow at least 30 percent in 2014 after the arrival of its new airplanes in 2012.
Sriwijaya expects to carry some 8 million passengers by the end of 2011, up from about 7.2 million passengers in 2010.
“Our market share was 13.7 percent in 2010 and we expect to reach 15 percent this year,” he said.
He said he was optimistic that the market share would grow to 23 to 25 percent over the next
In September, another privately-owned airline, low-cost carrier Lion Air, said it would apply for a new air operator certificate for its new full-service carrier, which is planned to be launched in November 2012, by bearing a different company name.
The new subsidiary, Space Air, will be based in Jakarta and fly domestic routes before expanding to regional destinations.
Space Air will use Boeing 737-900ERs, but the cabin configuration has not been decided.
Lion Air currently has 50 737-900ERs in service and another 118 on order.
Another Lion Air subsidiary, Wings Air, flies feeder routes for the airline.
Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is the only airline currently flying full-service flights in