Friday, May 4, 2012

Mandala Launches Jakarta-KL Flights

Indonesian budget carrier Mandala Airlines, which recently resumed operations after being grounded for over a year, launched on Friday its second international route connecting Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

Mandala will serve the route daily, with departures from Jakarta every afternoon. It is set to add morning flights starting on June 1.

“The launch of flights by Mandala on this route will benefit consumers as it will introduce competition,” Mandala Airlines president director Mike Coltman said during the launching event at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, on Friday.

Coltman added that Mandala decided on the Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur route because of a high demand from Indonesian tourists.

“Malaysia as a destination is certainly high on Indonesian travelers priority list due to the lifestyle options that are available,” he said.

Eddy Sugianto, the director of travel agent Aneka Travel who attended the launching event, reaffirmed Coltman’s remarks, saying the number of Indonesian tourists visiting Malaysia had steadily increased.

But reciprocal tourism from Kuala Lumpur to Indonesia is not expected.

Singapore’s budget carrier Tiger Airways now owns 33 percent of Mandala, while Indonesian investment company Saratoga Group holds a majority 51.3 percent stake. The remaining 15.7 percent is owned by Mandala’s previous shareholders and creditors.

Mandala marked its return to the skies on April 5 with a Jakarta-Medan flight.

It launched its first international flight on April 20, serving the Medan-Singapore route.(Jakarta Globe)

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