Indonesian carrier Batik Air has announced plans to launch international operations in the second half of 2014, with a route from its base in Jakarta to Singapore.

Speaking to reporters in Singapore, its chief executive Achmad Luthfie says the target is to launch the route in November, in time for the December high season. He adds however that this is subject to regulatory approvals and that the carrier is still trying to secure slots at Changi.

Achmad says that the slots will not come from parent Lion Air, who now flies six times daily on the Jakarta-Singapore route. Since Batik is a full-service carrier, it will also not eat into Lion’s market on the route. Singapore was picked as its first international point, because it is "the most popular city for travelling Indonesians", he adds.

After Singapore, Batik plans to launch services to Kuala Lumpur in January or February of 2015. Thereafter, it wants to start services to Hong Kong from its upcoming base at Batam.

In a presentation, Batik says that the plan is to start international services to capitals across ASEAN, and also to eventually fly to southern China.

The carrier will also set up hubs in Batam and Manado. It is now based at the congested Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

Domestically, the airline is planning to more than double its network to cover 22 destinations this year, up from the current 10. The new domestic points will be: Banjarmasin, Batam, Gorontalo, Kendari, Medan, Padang, Palembang, Palu, Timika, Tarakan and Solo. Batik will also resume services on the Jakarta-Bali Denpasar route.

These new services will increase its daily flights from 36 to 100.

The carrier adds that it also plans to launch services to another five domestic destinations in 2015. Services to three of these destinations will however be dependent on whether the airport runways are extended to accommodate Batik’s aircraft.

At the press conference, Batik also announced that it will be adding 10 aircraft this year, more than doubling its fleet to 16. The incoming aircraft includes six Airbus A320s and four Boeing 737-800s.

Source: Cirium Dashboard