Garuda seeks transfer of Halim slots to Citilnk

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Garuda Indonesia has opted to remain at Jakarta’s main Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, by transferring the slots it recently secured at the city’s secondary Halim Perdanakusuma airport to low-cost subsidiary Citilink.

In response to queries by Flightglobal, Indonesia’s flag carrier confirmed it has cancelled plans to move some of its flights to Halim, and that it has formally conveyed this decision to the country’s directorate general for civil aviation (DGCA). Garuda previously intended to serve Palembang, Pontianak, Semarang, Surabaya and Yogyakarta from Halim, where it received 16 daily slots, allowing it to operate eight daily return flights.

Garuda says the inefficiency of having to relocate flights from Soekarno-Hatta to Halim would have an impact on its aircraft and crew rotation, which was one of the reasons for the cancellation. By remaining at Soekarno-Hatta, it could continue to provide a seamless connection for transfer passengers.

However, transferring those slots to Citilink will require the DGCA’s approval. Should the slot transfer succeed, the low-cost carrier will also be able to optimise its operations further. Citilink already serves Malang, Palembang, Semarang and Yogyakarta from Halim, adds Garuda.

The latest move by Garuda follows Indonesia AirAsia and Tigerair Mandala, which have also dropped plans to fly from the secondary airport due to its status as a domestic airport. They say that splitting operations between Halim and Soekarno-Hatta will reduce operational efficiencies and increase costs.

Halim Perdanakusuma resumed commercial operations on 10 January, in a bid to alleviate congestion at Soekarno-Hatta. Both airports are managed by state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II.