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Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
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Dragonair may bring more Chinese to RI

  • Nadya Natahadibrata

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Fri, March 14, 2014 | 10:33 am

Hong Kong'€™s national flag carrier Cathay Pacific said it could help bring more Chinese tourists to Indonesia with the launch of a new route to Denpasar next month by its subsidiary, Dragonair.

'€œWe'€™ve seen an increase in the occupancy rate in our flights [from Hong Kong] to Denpasar, Bali,'€ Cathay Pacific country manager Patton Chan said in a media briefing on Thursday.

'€œDragonair fly to a lot of cities in mainland China. We can help bring more Chinese tourists to Indonesia,'€ he added, citing that the airline flies to 47 destinations, including 22 cities, in mainland China.

'€œI hope they [Chinese tourists] don'€™t just go to Bali but also to other parts of the country,'€ he continued.

Chan said the new scheduled flights by Dragonair would contribute 30 percent to Cathay Pacific'€™s seat capacity to Bali.

Chan, however, said he couldn'€™t disclose a figure on Cathay'€™s Indonesian passenger growth as well as the target, only saying that the growth '€œhas been very encouraging'€ for the past 12 months.

Starting on April 27, Dragonair will commence a twice-weekly service to Denpasar with an Airbus A330-300 aircraft with business and economy class seats.

The airline is scheduled to serve the route every Thursday and Sunday.

The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry launched an Indonesia-China Tourism Years initiative in November 2013 to boost traveler numbers from the world'€™s second-largest economy.

The ministry expects to attract 1 million Chinese travelers by the end of 2014.

During the briefing, Chan also disclosed the airline'€™s 2013 financial performance, which recorded HK$2,620 million (US$337.47 million) in profit last year, increasing by more than 200 percent from HK$862 million in 2012.

He said changes in flight schedules and also exchanging old aircraft with fuel-efficient aircraft were the main contributors to the high profit increase last year.

'€œIn 2012 we made a few changes to our business. We made several changes to our network, including changes in the flight schedule; and we started to operate fuel-efficient aircraft especially for the long haul routes,'€ Chan said.

He added that Indonesia had played a big role in increasing the airline'€™s profits in terms of the rising number of passengers who flew with Cathay to many destinations around the world.

'€œFor example, we have five wide body aircraft that fly daily from Hong Kong to London,'€ he said.

'€œHong Kong has a population of between 6 to 10 million. There aren'€™t so many people who want to go to that destination. So I think Indonesia contributes significantly to our occupancy,'€ he added.

Despite the thriving passenger business, the airline posted a 3.6 percent decrease in its cargo business to HK$23.7 billion last year from the year before.

The downfall resulted from the slowing global economy.

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