With high prices for domestic air tickets, international travel on low cost airlines is gaining increasingly popular for Indonesian travellers according to a report from the Jakarta Post.
According to a report from the Jakarta Post, the airport’s authority for Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport has seen a growth of over 4% of total passengers using low cost airlines for international travel. According to PT Angkasa Pura II, total passengers on LCC reached over 3.16 million passengers between January 1 and September 20 compared to just three million passengers for the same period of last year.
Furthermore, the company also reported that 22,805 flights had departed from the airport between Jan. 1 and Sept. 20 – a 6 percent increase from the 21,517 recorded in the corresponding period last year.
The airport’s authority explains the appeal of international travel to high prices for domestic fares. Since the start of the year, prices on domestic routes have increased on average by over 25%, making a flight from Jakarta to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur often cheaper than a Jakarta-Bali flight. Many passengers this year opted for example to travel by bus, trains or ferries during the Idul Fitri holiday, avoiding airlines. This caused a sharp drop in domestic air passengers’ traffic. The government has been forced to intervene in July forcing airlines to lower their domestic fares.
“The market has responded positively to various international routes offered by LCCs. Angkasa Pura II has supported the market growth by designating Terminal 2F for LCCs on May 1,” said Angkasa Pura II spokesperson Yado Yarismano to the Jakarta Post.
AP II is now working at optimizing the terminal’s utilization of its assets in an effort to jack up the international LCC market.
“Since the launch of Terminal 2F for budget airlines, LCC flights have managed to increase their efficiency, achieving 82 percent on on-time performance,” he stated.
Angkasa Pura II designated Terminal 2F at Soekarno-Hatta for LCCs in May. The State-Owned Enterprises Ministry, the Transportation Ministry and the Tourism Ministry approved the initiative, deeming it a part of efforts to lure more foreign tourist arrivals.
The airport operator aims to accommodate more passengers in the terminal – from the current capacity of 9 million passengers a year to 20 million.
AirAsia Group, Lion Air Group, Jetstar, Citilink, Cebu Pacific and Scoot are among budget airlines offering international routes from the airport. Low cost carriers operate a total of 104 international flights – 51 departures and 53 arrivals – per day or four flights per hour. Most of the destinations served are for Asia and particularly ASEAN destinations. There are also regular LCC flights to China, Hong Kong and Korea. Before the end of the year, the first low cost long haul flight will link Frankfurt to Jakarta by Garuda Indonesia affiliate Citilink.
“We aim to further integrate technology into the LCC Terminal 2F, offering customers alternative services such as online and self-check-in or self bag-drop facilities, among other things,” added Yado Yarismano to the Jakarta Post.