Low-cost carrier Indonesia AirAsia plans to serve religious travelers who want to perform the haj or umrah (minor haj) with a route linking Makassar to Jeddah via Kuala Lumpur.
The plan was revealed by chief operating officer Ridzki Kramadibrata on Friday at the 2013 AirAsia Travel Fair.
“The route is a huge opportunity because there is enormous demand from the public to perform haj and umrah pilgrimages,” he said.
The new route has been made possible with the arrival of nine newAirAsia Airbus A320s this year.
This increased capacity means several new routes are planned. Makassar, the provincial capital of South Sulawesi, is currently linked to Bali, Balikpapan, Jakarta, Manado, Surabaya and Kuala Lumpur.
Ridzki also said the airline was ready to take over the former routes of recently declared bankrupt Batavia Air.
The takeover of Batavia’s routes depends on approval from the Transportation Ministry.