23 NOVEMBER 2015
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Domestic airlines in Indonesia are being told to expand overseas or have valuable international routes offered to foreign airlines that are “knocking at the door”.
Speaking at an aviation conference, transport minister Ignasius Jonan said: “The policy is that we will first offer any international routes to our domestic airlines. But airlines like Emirates and Etihad have come to us and asked about more access, and I have said if the domestic airlines are not ready we will offer routes to international carriers.”
His comments came after flag carrier Garuda Indonesia reported a 123% increase in net profit to US$51.4m (£33.8m) in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, despite the country’s sluggish economy.
Garuda, the country’s largest carrier, is one airline that is expanding outwards and is launching new flights in January from Denpasar in Bali to Beijing and Guangzhou while adding capacity to the Middle East. It also says one of its key focus areas is growing the domestic network.
Other airlines cite the need for more infrastructure as a reason for not expanding. IATA has called for Indonesia’s traffic growth to be better supported both on the ground and in the air as its airports are in urgent need of additional capacity. www.garuda-indonesia.com
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