AirAsia Indonesia plans to double its flights to and from Bandung as more and more tourists are requesting direct flights to West Java’s provincial capital.
Airline director Dharmadi said Tuesday that starting April 15 the subsidiary of Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia would add one more flight a day to Denpasar, Medan and Singapore. The airline currently has once-a-day flights linking Bandung to those cities.
“Tourism in Bandung has developed rapidly since we began operating the Bandung-Kuala Lumpur direct flight in April 2004,” he said.
“The load factor is fantastic. Even during the low season from January to March the load factor can reach 85 percent.”
Dharmadi was speaking after the airline conducted a positioning flight carrying officials from the Transportation Ministry and state airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II from Jakarta on a new Airbus A320.
He said the new A320 narrow-body aircraft had better fuel efficiency, cutting fuel consumption by 15 percent. He also said the aircraft could fly 180 passengers, or 22 percent more passengers than the Boeing 737-300 currently being used, which has a maximum seating capacity of 149 seats.
AirAsia Indonesia is currently replacing all of its 737-300s with A320s.
The tourism potential in Bandung has triggered AirAsia Indonesia to park four aircraft at Bandung’s Husein Sastranegara Aiport, including one reserve aircraft, Dharmadi said.
In addition to increasing flights to and from Denpasar, Medan and Singapore, the budget carrier also plans to increase the capacity of its thrice-daily flights linking Bandung with the Malaysian capital.