Low-cost carrier Citilink aims to complete its separation from parent airline Garuda Indonesia and to operate under its own air operator's certificate (AOC) by March.

The spin off is key to Citilink's success and the team is now finalising its new livery, website, booking engine and crew uniform design in preparation for its new launch, said Con Korfiatis, advisor to the company's board, at an interview with Flightglobal Pro in Jakarta.

"Historically, Citilink was a polluted model and never had a very clear strategy and vision. Until this year, a lot of our structure and DNA was a hybrid of things brought in from Garuda and trying to introduce a few LCC [low-cost carrier] principles into the business," said Korfiatis.

He added that the cost and revenue structures, passenger demographics and operating philosophy of a low-cost carrier are "very different" from those of a full-service airline, and that Citilink needs to break away from Garuda for both to succeed.

"You can't mix the two; it's like trying to put oil and water together. They are mutually exclusive and if you try and mix them you damage both," he added.

Operating under Garuda's AOC also means its livery must have the parent company's name on it. With its own AOC and new livery, the airline's will be better able to distinguish and market itself to its target customers, said Korfiatis.

Garuda will maintain 100% ownership of Citilink even after it becomes a separate entity.

The low-cost carrier, which was founded in 2001, is optimistic about its growth and aims to carry 4 million passengers this year, up from 1.6 million last year.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news