ROUTES ASIA: Indonesia’s Batik Air Unveils Expansion Plans

Indonesian carrier Batik Air will be increasing its fleet this year to 16 aircraft and aims to launch services to 12 new domestic destinations, as well as launch its first international service, the airline’s chief executive officer, Captain Achmad Luthfie, has confirmed.

“Our first international destination will be Singapore and we aim to have more than a daily service on the route from Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to Singapore Changi Airport,” said Captain Luthfie. “We chose Singapore as our first international destination, because we can see that demand on the route continues to increase.”

The airline also plans to more than double its domestic network this year to 22 destinations from ten. The new domestic points it will serve this year comprise Banjarmasin, Batam, Gorontalo, Kendari, Medan, Padang, Palembang, Palu, Timika, Tarakan and Solo; the latter market subject to regulatory approval. Batik Air will also resume services on the Jakarta-Bali Denpasar route.

The airline also plans to launch services in 2015 to another five domestic destinations, although three will be dependent upon the airport runways being extended to accommodate the airline’s aircraft, it confirmed. Batik Air operates six 737-900ER aircraft configured with 168 economy-class and 12 business-class seats and its latest growth will see its flights increase to 100 a day from just 36 currently.

The growth is being facilitated by the arrival of additional aircraft. The airline will be adding its first Airbus A320 in July and will be getting a total of six this year. Batik Air will be the first airline in the Lion Air group to operate the A320 and will configure these with 144 economy-class seats and 12 business-class seats. It is also adding four 737-800s to its fleet in the second-half of 2014 and these will have 150 economy-class seats and 12 business-class seats.