Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Indonesian Air Passengers to Grow 52% by 2015: Inaca

The Indonesia Air Carriers Association predicts a 52 percent increase in passenger numbers by 2015 as airlines boost their fleets, new carriers enter the market and strong economic growth increases demand for flights.

Emirsyah Satar, the chairman of the association known as Inaca, said the number of passengers to and from Indonesia could grow to 100 million, from just 66 million last year. “The coming of new airplanes will drive more competition and make airlines run more efficiently,” Emirsyah, who is also the president director of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, said on Tuesday. He added that the increased competition would eventually benefit customers and encourage more people to fly.

Airlines in Indonesia have been expanding in part to tap rising demand brought on by the nation’s growing per capita income. That includes Garuda, which aims to expand its fleet from 89 airplanes this year to 154 by 2015.

There are similar plans in place for the Indonesian unit of Asia’s biggest budget carrier, AirAsia, which intends to operate a fleet of 34 Airbus A320s by the end of 2015. The company currently operates 17 Airbus planes and expects to receive four more later this year. In March, new airline Pacific Royale Airways joined the full-service flight competition, further crowding Indonesia’s skies. There is also budget carrier Mandala Airlines, which has scheduled its comeback for Thursday after debt problems grounded its fleet in early 2011.

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