Sriwijaya Air spreads wings to eastern RI
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Privately owned Sriwijaya Air is expanding its flight services to Sulawesi and Papua to tap into growing flight demand in eastern Indonesia, an executive said on Monday.
Senior corporate communications manager Agus Soedjono said that starting on July 12, the company would increase the frequency of its Jakarta-Makassar, Jakarta-Sorong via Makassar, and Makassar-Jayapura routes.
The airline would provide five flights per day for the Jakarta-Makassar route, which previously flew four times daily.
They have also increased the Jakarta-Sorong via Makassar flight and Makassar-Jayapura flight from once to twice a day.
“The aviation sector is currently the darling of the transportation industry and demand keeps growing every year, including for the eastern Indonesia market,” he told The Jakarta Post.
He said the potential of the market could be seen by the airline’s newly launched Jakarta-Jayapura and Jakarta-Biak routes, which recorded more than an 80 percent load factor within only two months.
“That is a sign that eastern Indonesia is a strong new market for the airline industry and we believe our routes will help boost the regional economy in the long run,” he added.
For the Papua market alone, Sriwijaya has entered the island’s big cities in the last two years: Jayapura, Manokwari, Sorong and Biak.
In near future, it plans to enter the mining city of Timika.
The company will also take a delivery of 10 Boeing B737-800 Next Generation (NG) and B737-500 this year, increasing its fleet to 43 aircraft by the end of the year. “The new aircraft will enable us to increase the flights of our existing routes and open new ones that result in an increasing number of passengers,” he added.
He said that Sriwijaya had carried almost five million passengers on its domestic and international routes throughout the first semester of 2012, a 10 percent increase from 4.5 million passengers in the same period last year.
This year, the airline is eyeing a 15 percent passenger growth from 8 million in 2011 to 9.2 million.
Separately, the firm’s commercial director Toto Nursatyo said that the company had ordered 20 Embraer E190 aircraft that would be delivered next year.