Wings Air to expand network in western Indonesia

Regional airline Wings Air aims to expand its network in western Indonesia after opening new routes in the central and eastern part of the country recently.

“We will open new short routes in western Indonesia to lead the market in the next two year,” Wings Air director of general affairs Edward Sirait said Friday as reported by Antara news agency.

He said this would be made possible with the delivery by 2011 of 15 Franco-Italian ATR 72-500 twin turboprops out of a total order of 30 new aircraft.

Currently Wings Air operates one ATR 72-500 in western Indonesia with two others being
operated in the eastern and central parts of the country.

Wings Air also operates 2 Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft and 5 Boeing MD-80 aircraft.

The airline, a fully owned subsidiary of privately run Lion Air, started to serve the route linking Bandung in West Java with Yogyakarta on Friday, it said in a press statement issued Saturday.

During the opening ceremony at the Husein Sastranegara Airport in Bandung, Wings Air also launched another route linking Yogyakarta with Surabaya in East Java.

Two other routes, linking Surabaya with Semarang in Central Java and Denpasar in Bali, were
also launched although these two routes started operation on Thursday.

Wings Air flight IW 1811 leaves Adisutjipto Airport in Yogyakarta at 12:05 P.M. and arrives in Husein Sastranegara Airport at 1:05 P.M. The aircraft returns to Yogyakarta as flight IW 1812 departing at 1:30 P.M. and arriving at 2:30 P.M.

The Bandung-Yogyakarta route has a one-way airfare of Rp 290,000 (US$31.16), said Wings Air director of general affairs Edward Sirait.

He said starting Saturday the aircraft with a capacity of 72 passengers would have a daily route of Semarang-Surabaya-Denpasar-Surabaya-Yogyakarta-Bandung-Yogyakarta-Surabaya- Denpasar-Surabaya-Semarang.

Edward was confident that the use of the Bandung-Yogyakarta sector would grow significantly.

“Both cities are known not only as business cities but also student cities and destinations for culinary tourism,” Edward told Antara news agency.

As for new routes, Edward said the airlines planned to link Bali with Labuan Bajo and Maumere in East Nusa Tenggara and Bima in West Nusa Tenggara.

Wings Air also plans to link the North Sumatra provincial capital of Medan with Sibolga, in North Sumatra, and Lhokseumawe in Aceh.

Other new routes would include linking Medan with the secondary town of Gunungsitoli and Nias as well as Meulaboh in Aceh, and the Padang-Bengkulu route.