Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Garuda's Citilink Eyes 80 Percent Passenger Surge

Citilink, the low-cost carrier of Garuda Indonesia, aims to fly 7.2 million passengers this year, an 80 percent jump from last year. 

The move would continue Citilink’s growth trend of last year, when passenger numbers jumped to 4 million from 1.3 million passengers in 2011. “We are happy that we had a wonderful year for 2012,” said Aristo Kristandyo, the budget airline’s vice president for marketing and communications. 

The Jakarta-based airline aims to generate Rp 3.6 trillion ($372 million) in revenue from ticket sales this year. The company believes it can take 7.2 million passengers, with each ticket priced at an average of Rp 500,000. 

The airline also aims to this year generate Rp 500 billion in ancillary revenue, which refers to revenue from non-ticket sources, such as baggage fees and on-board food and services. It has become an important revenue source for low-cost carriers. 

Citilink expects to operate several new aircraft in the second half of this year. 

The carrier currently operates 16 aircraft: 10 Airbus A320s, each with a capacity of 180 seats; six Boeing 737-300s, each with 148-seat capacities, and one Boeing 737-400 with 170 seats, according to its website. 

Citilink operates 76 flights from Jakarta and Surabaya to destinations including Batam, Banjarmasin, Denpasar, Balikpapan, Medan, Makassar and Lombok. 

Aristo said that Citilink expects to operate 98 flights by the end of this month, and plans to reach 200 flights by the end of this year. 

Citilink will service three new destinations from this month — Palembang, South Sumatra; Yogyakarta; and Solo, Central Java. 

The company aims to operate 50 aircraft by 2015, according to its website. 

Aristo said Citilink is conducting a study to create hubs in eastern Indonesia, which is less developed than the western part of the country. 

Citilink is one of several low-cost carriers in Indonesia, competing against Lion Air, Indonesia AirAsia, Batavia Air and Mandala Airlines. 

Herry S. Gumay, the director general of air transportation at the Transportation Ministry, said that with rising consumer spending in Indonesia, the market for low-cost carriers such as Citilink is huge. 

Some of the nation’s airports, however, are struggling to accommodate the flourishing airlines. The main airports servicing Jakarta and Bali are both currently undergoing major expansions. (Jakarta Globe)

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