September 22, 2022
JAKARTA – Low-cost carrier Indonesia AirAsia plans to enlarge its operations beyond the pre-pandemic level by the end of this year.
Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A (formerly AirAsia Group), said during a celebration of the resumption of its operations at Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 on Sept. 15 that “[AirAsia] Indonesia will be bigger than what it was before COVID”.
After being stuck at home for most of the past two years, people are apparently eager to explore the world again. Indonesia has seen growing demand for air travel and tourism.
“We all know Indonesia for Bali. Pak President [Joko “Jokowi” Widodo] is keen to develop tourism, and Indonesia has so much more to offer than just Bali,” he said.
Indonesia AirAsia operates single-aisle Airbus 320-200 aircraft for domestic and international routes. By the end of the year, the airline would operate a larger number of the aircraft than before the COVID-19 pandemic, said PT Indonesia AirAsia CEO Veranita Yosephine.
“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we operated 26 aircraft. By the end of this year, we are expecting to operate 28 to 30 aircraft. We will add more in 2023,” Veranita told The Jakarta Post.
Indonesia AirAsia has gradually resumed operations on suspended domestic routes since COVID-19 travel restrictions were lifted.
The airline had stopped its operations as a result of large-scale activity curbs enforced in Indonesia to stop the spread of the virus.
Recently, Indonesia AirAsia also opened three new routes that did not exist before the pandemic.
“We opened the Bali–Balikpapan [route], which did not exist before. Now [other airlines] start to fly [the same route]. We are the pioneers,” said Veranita in an interview with The Jakarta Post during the event at Changi’s Terminal 4.
Indonesia AirAsia also opened a Bali-Medan route on July 8 and a Jakarta-Silangit service on Sept. 2.
The CEO added that the opening of new routes was expected to give the domestic economy a leg up.
“In line with the government, our mission is to equalize the economy by creating connectivity to areas that were not served much before,” she added.
Indonesia AirAsia also recently resumed flights on international routes, such as to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Penang from several cities in Indonesia.