Jetstar Asia is said to be replacing Garuda Indonesia to fly the Belitung-Singapore route. Though the international route has only been opened for about six months.
In the FGD held by the Indonesian Pilot Federation (FPI) on Thursday (3/28/2019), Special Staff of the Minister of Tourism for Infrastructure, Judi Rifajantoro, said that the state-owned airline would cease to serve the route which had just opened on 29 October 2018. This is in accordance with the requirements provided by the Ministry of Transportation.
“The Garuda Indonesia’s Belitung-Singapore route which was opened in October 2018 will be closed in April 2019. Indeed is not easy to build a new international route,” he admitted.
He revealed, that Minister of Tourism appreciated the massive support provided by the Ministry of Transportation to open international flights. However, he admitted that there were conditions that were challenging.
“There are requirements that we are worried about. The requirement is, if the new route show no growth up to six months, it will be canceled,” he said.
He explained that the act to close this route is not because of the market aspect.
“The demand is there, but the (ticket) price cannot be too low. For new flights, you have to push it, first with the introduction price. Because of it is the new destination, there should be an introductory price,” he explained.
He considered, the costs incurred by Garuda Indonesia were quite high, and it was not possible to reduce ticket prices in the current situation.
“In the current conditions we cannot give low prices. So we are forced to look for other airlines, maybe Jetstar Asia,” he concluded.
The Belitung-Singapore route is served 4 times a week by Garuda Indonesia with Bombardier CRJ-1000 aircraft that has 96 seats capacity. The aircraft depart from H.A.S Hanandjoeddin International Airport in Belitung to Changi International Airport in Singapore and vice versa.