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Get set: Two airplanes are parked at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali. Airlines in Indonesia have been gearing up to provide enough seats for Idul Fitri holiday travelers. JP/Arief SuhardimanAlthough the fasting month has just started, local airlines have begun to provide additional flights to meet the surge in passenger traffic during the Idul Fitri holidays, when millions of people will return to their hometowns.
National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia will provide 92 extra flights from Aug. 15 to 26, or equal to 20,484 extra seats for travelers during the Islamic holidays at the end of the fasting month on Aug. 19 or 20.
Vice president of corporate communications Pudjobroto said the extra seats would be on flights from Jakarta to Yogyakarta; Padang, West Sumatra; Denpasar, Bali; and Singapore.
The company would add 28 flights for the Jakarta-Singapore route, 26 flights for both the Jakarta-Padang and Jakarta-Denpasar routes, and 12 flights for the Jakarta-Yogyakarta route, he said.
“Singapore is the most favorite route because today’s trend is that people see Idul Fitri like a holiday,” he told The Jakarta Post.
He said that Garuda has yet to decide to add more flights from Jakarta to Medan, North Sumatra; Palembang, South Sumatra; Surabaya, East Java; and Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, because the airline currently has provided more than 10 flights a day for each route.
“We implement a flexible response policy that allows us to add more flights in any route during the exodus. We only have to look at the demand later,” he said.
He also encouraged Garuda passengers to check-in at the airline sales offices across the capital city, such as Garuda Gallery in Senayan City mall or Garuda Indonesia Holiday at Wisma Bumiputera, South Jakarta, to prevent long queue in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport’s check-in counter.
In addition, he said that Citilink Indonesia intends to provide 70,560 more seats from Aug. 15 to 26 in all of its routes, including Jakarta-Surabaya, Jakarta-Balikpapan, Jakarta-Batam and Jakarta-Banjarmasin.
Contacted separately, privately owned Batavia Air commercial director Sukirno Soekarna said that the airline would add 13 flights, or equal to 2,340 extra seats from Aug. 10 to 18, and Aug. 22 to Sept. 3, to serve travelers during Idul Fitri.
The extra flights would be for Jakarta-Surabaya, Jakarta-Yogyakarta, Jakarta-Padang, Jakarta-Semarang, Jakarta-Solo, Jakarta-Denpasar, Jakarta-Tanjung Pinang, Surabaya-Balikpapan, and Yogyakarta-Pontianak.
Similar to Garuda, he said that Batavia would provide more flights if the demand was high in the last few days of Ramadhan.
“With 33 aircraft, including the new Airbus A330s and A320s, Batavia is able to anticipate surging demand from the air travelers during the Idul Fitri holiday,” Sukirno told the Post.
He also said that the airline enjoyed up to a 10 percent load factor increase from their Jakarta-Jeddah route during the fasting month, as Muslims conduct minor hajj or umroh trips with their families and relatives.
The airline currently flies to Jeddah 10 times a week, he said.
Moreover, the largest low cost carrier in the country, Lion Air, has recently proposed extra flights to the Transportation Ministry and is waiting for approval.
General affairs director Edward Sirait said they plan to add flights in a number of several busy routes, such as Jakarta-Padang, Jakarta-Banjarmasin, Jakarta-Palembang and Jakarta-Surabaya.
For the foreign airlines, state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II (AP II) corporate secretary Trisno Heryadi said that the company has received more than 100 extra flights from Singapore Airlines, Tiger Airways, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, China Southern Airlines, Qantas and Value.