The Jakarta Post
Low-cost airline Citilink Indonesia has announced plans to serve two or three more international routes this year in addition to the Jakarta-Penang route that started operation on Sunday and the Jakarta-Dili route that has been in operation since May, last year.
The company said it took into consideration several aspects before opening new routes, including the destination city’s gross domestic product (GDP), to assess the business prospects.
“These [new routes] will benefit Citilink, because we can optimize the utilization of our fleet,” Citilink finance director Fransetya Hutabarat said on the Citilink flight to Penang on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Andy Adrian Febryanto, Citilink Indonesia’s chief commercial officer, said the new routes would be within a range of four to five flying hours, a distance coverable by Airbus A320 planes.
"We plan to expand our [route network] to a number of cities, but I cannot disclose the routes yet,” he said.
Citilink’s inaugural flight to Penang recorded a seat occupancy rate of 97 percent, with 176 of the 180 available seats filled.
Penang is considered an attractive destination for airlines, as it is a modern international island city that offers tourists attractions such as heritage buildings in George Town, the Gurney Drive tourist belt, Penang Hill and others.
Planes on the route take off from Jakarta at 9:55 a.m. and from Penang at 2:50 p.m. local time. Fransetya said the firm might increase the flight frequency in the future if demand was high.
AirAsia has served the same route for a longer time. (bbn)