Five Indonesian airlines seek rights to Australia: Batavia, Sriwijaya, Mandala, Lion Air & AirAsia


Five Indonesian carriers, Batavia Airlines, Sriwijaya Air, Mandala Airlines, Lion Air, and Indonesia AirAsia have applied for a share of the additional 4,000 weekly seats between Indonesia and Australia, according to a Kompas.com report. The Australian-Indonesian bilateral air services agreement was recently expanded, allowing each side's airlines to increase capacity from 10,800 to 14,800 seats per week.

Batavia Air has received verbal in-principle approval to operate to Australia (destinations not disclosed), according to the report. Indonesia AirAsia, which already operates to Perth, has applied to launch four times weekly Denpasar-Darwin A320 service in Oct-2010, to replace routes suspended by Garuda Indonesia. Jetstar's Australian operation also operates on the route with A320 equipment. This will increase the competitive pressure on flag carrier Gaaruda, as it seeks to turn around its operation, as well as enhancing Indonesia's inbound tourism opportunities.

See related report: Indonesian aviation enters an exciting new chapter: Outlook 2010

Improving safety oversight

On 06-Jul-2010, the European Commission removed Batavia and Indonesia AirAsia from the list of airlines banned from operating in EU airspace, citing “improvements in the oversight exercised by the Indonesian authorities, allowing the Air Safety Committee to support their removal from the banned list."

Garuda Indonesia, Mandala Airlines, Airfast Indonesia and PremiAir received permits to operate to Europe earlier this year, while the ban remains in place for the nation's other carriers. Lion Air is still required to fulfill further requirements for its ban to be lifted.

Garuda Indonesia made its much-anticipated return to European skies at the start of Jun-2010 for the first time in six years, operating daily Jakarta-Amsterdam service via Dubai. B777-300ER equipment will replace A330s on the route next year and Garuda plans to serve other points in Europe, namely Frankfurt, London, Paris and Rome, now that an EU ban on the carrier has been lifted.

Garuda’s European expansion with new long-haul aircraft represents another threat to established carriers on the ‘Kangaroo Route’. See related report: Garuda Indonesia heads back to Europe after six-year break, but condemned to price leadership

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