Budget Carriers Sip Improving Travel Market by Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours

Topics: AirAsia, Airline, Low-cost carrier Pages: 3 (518 words) Published: April 21, 2014
Indonesian Muhammad Fikri, 28, studying in the Netherlands, bought round-trip tickets from a low-cost airline for his solo trip to Italy this month.

Fikri, who worked in a social business institution in Jakarta last year, was an avid backpacker exploring Asia on low-cost carriers. 

“I don’t have a huge budget, but I do have some money spare to travel abroad,” he said.

Many middle-class Indonesians are using their disposable income for travel and Fikri is one of them.

The Transportation Ministry projected that the total figure of air travelers in the country will be as much or higher than 100 million this year, 11 percent up from 2013’s estimated 93.56 million.

To comply with the towering demand, budget airlines Citilink, Lion Air and AirAsia have all set increase plans for this and the coming years.

The budget airline unit of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, Citilink, will receive eight Airbus A320s sometime between June and December this year to make-up international routes.

The carrier currently operates 22 aircraft, last month with a flight from Surabaya, East Java, to Johor Bahru, Malaysia, it has made its international-route debut. 

Citilink CEO Arif Wibowo said the carrier would also offer other international flights connecting Surabaya to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, early this month and Singapore in May, as well as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Perth, Australia, in the coming months.

It aims to almost double its aircraft to 50 units by 2015 and augment its scheduled domestic and international routes from 28 to 37 this year.

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The country’s largest low-cost airline, Lion Air, will focus on adding several domestic routes this year.

“There are still many domestic routes that we haven’t covered yet,” said Lion Group corporate secretary Ade Simanjuntak.

The Lion Group functions low-cost carriers Lion Air and Wings Air, full-service carrier Batik Air, and the...
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