Indonesia wants more airline seats badly

In addition to cash incentives announced last year, the Indonesian government is extending sales and marketing support to airlines to bring seat capacity up to a level that can handle its targeted 17 million international arrivals for the year.

To meet the desired capacity, the destination needs to add 1.1 million seats (over the year) to its existing four million. Speaking to airlines at a roadshow in Jakarta, Arief Yahya, Indonesia minister of tourism, said he was hoping for 600,000 seats to be added to Bali, 350 to Jakarta and the rest to other international gateways in Indonesia.

Lion Air is one airline that will be helping to increase Indonesia’s seat capacity by launching new routes

Arief said: “The government is providing incentives to the airlines in the forms of marketing communications, sales missions and travel marts and fairs.”

In response to the call, Angkasa Pura II airport authority said it was ready to add 790,000 seats, by increasing slot availability, seat capacity and service quality, such as through optimising digital services in various airports.

Meanwhile, Edward Sirait, president director of Lion Air Group, said the airline was in the process of finalising six new flights from China to Indonesia, including to Lombok and Batam. The airline is also planning to fly to South Korea from Bali and Jakarta.

He said: “Flights between Bali to Busan and Seoul Incheon will start in June, while the existing charter services between Batam and Busan, as well as Batam and Incheon, will soon become regular services.”

Similarly, Garuda Indonesia is adding services to China and Australia. The airline on January 30 launched twice-weekly Denpasar-Xi’an and thrice-weekly Denpasar-Zhengzhou flights, operated with Airbus 330-300.

Beginning May 4, Garuda will up frequency on its Jakarta-Perth route from four to five times a week, according to its president and CEO Pajala Mansury.

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