Royale ready for debut in full service flight
Pacific Royale Airways is scheduled to make its maiden flight on June 11 from its hub in Surabaya, East Java, becoming Indonesia’s first private full-service airline.
Pacific Royale CEO Samudra Sukardi said on Friday that the airline would use Fokker F50 twin turbo-propeller powered aircraft to serve its new routes: Surabaya-Bandung, West Java, and Surabaya-Semarang, Central Java.
“We are very excited to start our commercial operations from Surabaya, a vibrant city that connects the west and east of Indonesia. We hope that the routes will help people to travel to other vibrant cities in the country,” Samudra told The Jakarta Post.
The new airline is set to compete with national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air’s upcoming Batik Air.
Four days after the maiden flights, Pacific Royale is scheduled to launch Batam-Pekanbaru, Batam-Padang and Batam-Jambi service.
“We picked Batam as one of our hubs because it is a strategic location that connects Indonesia to Southeast Asian countries, a region where we want to tap opportunities later on,” Samudra said.
Pacific Royale is 51 percent owned by local businessman Gunarni Gunawan and 49 percent owned by Indian investor Tarun Trika.
Pacific Royale plans to use five F50s for feeder routes and four Airbus A320s single-aisle aircraft and one Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft for domestic and international flights.
The airline also aims to fly to Mumbai, India; Hong Kong; and Singapore.
Pacific Royale will take delivery of a F50 in mid-June and an A320 by the end of June that are slated to connect Jakarta to big cities such as Medan, North Sumatra; and Denpasar, Bali.
It was given rights to operate 62 domestic routes and 11 international routes, according to its flight permit (SIUAU).
The airline has also signed an agreement with Garuda Maintenance Facilities AeroAsia and Singapore Aero Engineering Service to maintain its Airbus aircraft and with Fokker Services Asia in Singapore for its Fokker.
On increasing global fuel prices, Samudra said that he remained optimistic about the airline business. “We are not worried about fuel prices because we have the fuel surcharge mechanism, in which we pass on the conditions to the market.”
Despite the optimism, Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said that an air operator certificate (AOC), which is required for Pacific Royale to commence flights, has not been issued.
“We have signed the AOC, but we have not given the certificate [to Pacific Royale] because there are several technical issues that need to be completed,” Bambang told the Post.
He said that the regulator was still processing the certificate for the Traffic-Collision Alerting System (T-Cas) with Windshear annunciations for the F50s to be used on the Batam-based routes. (nfo)