Indonesia’s Citilink appears to have shelved plans for long-haul flights to Europe, pivoting towards Asia instead.
Commenting on its first widebody aircraft, an Airbus A330-900neo received from Avolon last month, vice-president for corporate secretary and corporate social responsibility Resty Kusandarina says, “The aircraft is being prepared for [international] expansion and strengthening Citilink’s [brand], through the launch of new services to Asia and the Middle East.”
Last June, chief executive Juliandra Nurtjahjo told the media that the carrier is expecting to receive two new A330neos between October and December 2019, which will enable it to launch flights into Frankfurt and Jeddah.
Then, he explained that the move to launch long-haul flights is part of Citilink’s long-term business plan and to align its strategy with parent company, Garuda Indonesia.
It is unclear when Citilink will launch long-haul flights and flight tracking websites show the aircraft registered PK-GYC (MSN 1887) is only flying on the Jakarta-Denpasar route.
Cirium fleets data shows that Citilink expects to receive a second A330-900neo from Avolon this month. The rest of its in-service fleet comprises of ten A320neos, 41 A320ceos, one 737-500 and six ATR 72-600s.
Lion Air is currently the only Indonesian low-cost carrier operating scheduled long-haul flights. Indonesia AirAsia X decided to abandon long-haul operations to become a non-scheduled carrier in January 2019, after posting losses due to rising cost and declining passenger numbers.