Business

Local carriers open more
routes to meet growing
demand

Exclusivity: Flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia’s president director, Emirsyah Satar, (left) talks to Deputy Transportation Minister Bambang Susantono (from second left), Industry Minister MS Hidayat and media giant Kompas Gramedia’s CEO, Agung Adiprasetyo, during the launch of the airline’s first class service in Jakarta on Tuesday. (JP/Nurhayati)
Exclusivity: Flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia’s president director, Emirsyah Satar, (left) talks to Deputy Transportation Minister Bambang Susantono (from second left), Industry Minister MS Hidayat and media giant Kompas Gramedia’s CEO, Agung Adiprasetyo, during the launch of the airline’s first class service in Jakarta on Tuesday. (JP/Nurhayati)

National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and several other local airlines have opened their new domestic routes this month to further tap into the country’s growing air transportation.

Garuda recently launched its Jakarta-Tanjung Pandan and Jakarta-Bengkulu routes in a bid to strengthen its networks in Sumatra.

The airline provides daily flights for both routes on a Boeing b737-500 aircraft with a total capacity of 96 people.

“These routes will enable travelers to visit cities that have strong economic and tourism potential. Tanjung Pandan is a potential marine tourism spot while Bengkulu is home to the world’s largest flower, Rafflesia Arnoldi,” president director Emirsyah Satar said.

The opening of the new routes is also intended to support the government’s Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Growth (MP3EI) in the Sumatra Economic Corridor, he added.

Low cost carrier Mandala Airlines has also expanded its service from the capital city to one of the country’s top travel destinations, Yogyakarta.

“The opening of this new route marks another important step in Mandala’s strategic expansion in Indonesia. Air travel has become an integral part of the Indonesian lifestyle, whether it is for business or leisure. Yogyakarta is definitely one of the must-visit places in the country because of its cultural heritage, fascinating views and warm hospitality,” president director Paul Rombeek said.

Citing data from the Tourism Board of Special Region of Yogyakarta, he said that the number of tourist arrivals in the area had reached 1.88 million in 2012, a 5 percent increase from 2011.

With the addition of Yogyakarta, the carrier will also serve seven other domestic routes such as Denpasar, Pekanbaru, Medan and Padang and three international routes: Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

In addition, budget airlines AirAsia Indonesia (AAI) and Citilink Indonesia are flying higher this month as they link Jakarta with emerging tourist sites in the country and abroad.

AAI president director Dharmadi said that the airline has linked the capital city with Johor Bahru, Malaysia this week.

He believed that Jakarta-Johor Bahru would become its customers’ next favorite destination, particularly those who travelling with families, as the destination offered Legoland and Hello Kitty Town.

“For the Johor Bahru people, this route will help them explore Indonesia as they can now easily connect to spectacular destinations such as Bali, Medan and Makassar from Jakarta,” he said.

Meanwhile, Citilink Indonesia has connected the capital city with Malang, an emerging tourist destination in East Java.

Citilink president director Arif Wibowo said that the opening of the new service has increased the airline’s networks to 22 destinations nationwide.

Transportation Ministry data said that the number of domestic air passengers rose 10.6 percent to 72.4 million last year. The figure is predicted to reach 77 million by year’s end.

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