Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia’s strategic business unit Citilink officially becomes an independent airline company on Monday, an executive said.
PT Citilink Indonesia CEO Arif Wibowo said that they would operate 21 aircraft with the international code of QG after the spin-off.
“We are going to open more domestic routes to strengthen our network and increase our frequency to 120 flights per day by the end of this year,” Arif told The Jakarta Post over the phone.
Currently, the airline operates 14 aircrafts: eight Airbus A320s, five Boeing B737-400s, and one B737-300. These airlines fly 11 routes and this include: Jakarta-Denpasar, Jakarta-Balikpapan, Jakarta-Medan, Jakarta-Surabaya, and Surabaya-Makassar.
With the current fleet and routes, the flight frequency has reached 72 flights a day, Arif said.
Starting Monday, Citilink would increase the Jakarta–Surabaya flights from seven to nine flights a day, and Jakarta–Denpasar flights from two to five flights a day.
In addition, the low-cost carrier plans to open new routes linking Bandung with Surabaya and Denpasar, and Jakarta with Yogyakarta, Padang and Pekanbaru in the fourth quarter of this year.
“We hope to serve 4 million passengers throughout this year, up from 1.6 million last year, because we have a lot of aircraft,” Arif said.
He said that Citilink has transported 1.2 million passengers in the first half of 2012, a 60 percent increase from the same period last year.
The company received its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Transportation Ministry at the end of June, enabling it to become an independent operator.
Previously in February, the airline obtained a flight permit (SIUAU) from the ministry, authorizing the airline to fly in 70 domestic routes and 16 international routes in the future.
He said that Citilink was going to spread its wings toward the Southeast Asia and Australasia regions in 2013.