MEDIAONETIMOR-Citilink Indonesia, flag carrier Garuda Indonesia’s budget airline subsidiary, will launch its first scheduled international flight from Jakarta to Dili, the capital of Timor Leste, on May 12, marking the start of the airline’s new eastward expansion to tap rising demand for regional flights.
Citilink president director Juliandra Nurtjahjo said the decision to offer the new scheduled flight was made after data show that more and more tourists and business travelers are coming from Dili to Indonesia.
Between September 2015 to February 2017, Citilink already operated a charter flight from Denpasar to Dili, which was managed together with local airlines from Timor Leste.
Juliandra said the number of passengers on the charter flight grew between 6 percent to 8 percent each year, pointing to an opportunity for the airline to make expansion.
“Currently only Sriwijaya Air and Nam Air fly the same route. We want a share of that market,” Juliandra said, referring to Citilink’s local rival and its subsidiary.
“Citilink is already a well-known brand in Dili,” he added.
Citilink will use an Airbus A320 with a capacity of 160 passengers to serve the route. The flight will make a stop in Denpasar, and Citilink will provide food on board the connecting flight to Dili, an improvement from normal budget airline service, Juliandra said.
The Citilink flight will depart from Jakarta at 04:55 a.m. and from Denpasar at 9:25 a.m.. The flight from Dili to Jakarta will depart at 1:20 p.m.(Thresa Sandra Desfika/etan)