Indonesia’s largest low-cost carrier Lion Air launched its full-service Batik Air (photo above) at the country's main gateway Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Cengkareng, Banten, on Thursday.
Batik Air president director Achmad Luthfie said that a maiden flight would be conducted on May 3 from Soekarno-Hatta's Terminal 3.
"We are going to fly between Jakarta and Manado [North Sulawesi] during the first flight and later on we will fly the route twice a day," Achmad told reporters.
He said that the new airline would put six Boeing B737-900 Extended Range (ER) aircraft into operation this year.
"Our second aircraft will arrive on May 4 and connect Jakarta and Pekanbaru and the third on May 8," he added.
Batik Air would offer 12 business class seats and 168 economy seats on each aircraft.
Batik has obtained flight permits and approval from the Transportation Ministry to serve 66 domestic routes and 20 international routes.
The full-service airline business, as opposed to no-frills flying, has excellent local prospects, given the rising number of Indonesians with disposable income.
He said that local middle-class customers would likely switch from Lion Air to Batik Air as their incomes increased.