Mandala flies between Bangkok, Jakarta

nationmultimedia.com

Competition between Bangkok and Jakarta as travel hubs intensified after new low-cost carrier Mandala Airlines landed for the first time at Suvarnabhumi Airport yesterday.


Mandala Airlines will fly daily between Bangkok and Jakarta, competing head-on with other airlines such as Thai Airways International, AirAsia and Indonesia's national carrier Garuda.


Devin Wirawan, director of Jakarta-based Mandala Airlines, said the first flight to Bangkok had won an excellent response and he expected the route to become popular. He added that if it does, the airline would add more flights between the two capitals in the near future. Mandala Airlines is a tough competitor because it does not just offer cheap tickets but also promises a high standard of safety, security and punctuality. It is offering one-way fares to and from Jakarta at about Bt1,800 as part of its promotional campaign.


Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and demand for travel has been on the rise. In 2011, there were about 7 million Indonesians travelling abroad, and Bangkok proved to be one of the most popular destinations. Devin said Phuket was also an attractive destination and the company was studying the feasibility of adding it to its network. Launched four months ago, Mandala's major shareholder is the Saratoga Group, an Indonesian investment company, and Singapore's Tiger Airways, which holds a 33-per-cent stake.


Devin said that though the aviation business was getting very competitive in the region, Mandala could afford to jump in because it had Tiger Airways as a strong partner.


Mandala currently has three aircraft and plans to expand its fleet by another 10 planes by next year. All of them are Airbus A320s.


Tiger Airways has 30 aircraft for its more than 30 destinations across 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The two airlines are working to expand their network in time for the Asean Economic Community, which kicks off in 2015.


Mandala also flies to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore from Jakarta in addition to flying domestically.

Read full story: nationmultimedia.com

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 00:49:58

  
  

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