Indonesia AirAsia, Tigerair Mandala drops plans to fly out of Halim

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Low-cost carriers Indonesia AirAsia and Tigerair Mandala have opted to remain at Jakarta’s main Soekarno-Hatta International airport, instead of operating out of the secondary Halim Perdanakusuma airport.

Indonesia AirAsia attributed the decision to factors such as Halim’s status as a domestic airport, its limited number of slots, and the need to transfer operations from Soekarno-Hatta to Halim. It also notes shifting existing operations to the airport will be difficult to implement as this will affect aircraft rotation and reduce operational efficiencies.

“Approximately 70% of Indonesia AirAsia’s routes are international, and 30% are domestic. Many of our passengers connect from Jakarta onwards to international destinations within our network and vice versa,” says its spokeswoman. “That said, operating from both Soekarno-Hatta and Halim Perdanakusuma would make connecting difficult for our guests while our aim is to provide a seamless travel experience.”

Meanwhile, Tigerair Mandala believes splitting its operations at the two Jakarta airports will increase its operational costs. However, it has yet to officially rule out the idea, even as it intends to focus flying out of Soekarno-Hatta, and maximising operational benefits through greater efficiency. In June 2013, the airline confirmed to Flightglobal an application was made to move its services to Halim.

In a separate interview, an official from the country’s transport ministry confirmed flag carrier Garuda Indonesia’s application to operate out of Halim remains pending, but could not provide any further details. Its low-cost subsidiary Citilink remains the only commercial operator at the airport, he adds.

Halim Perdanakusuma reopened for commercial operations on 10 January, to alleviate congestion at Soekarno-Hatta. Located east of Jakarta, it has a single 3,000m (9,800ft) runway. Data from the country's directorate general of civil aviation shows that the airport's apron is capable of accommodating up to five small and medium-sized aircraft, and up to 13 widebodies.