Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Wings Air to Drop 7 Routes Due to Pricey Avtur

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • A Wings Air airplane at Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman International Airport (SAMS) Sepinggan, Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, September 25, 2016. TEMPO/Nita Dian

    A Wings Air airplane at Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman International Airport (SAMS) Sepinggan, Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, September 25, 2016. TEMPO/Nita Dian

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaLow-cost carrier Wings Air, a part of Lion Group, has announced it will close seven flight routes starting October 3, 2019. Group spokesman Danang Mandala Prihantoro said the route closure was attributable to the price of jet fuel or avtur.

    “The avtur price for our operations in several places is pricey. Our cost then increases, which is not equal to what we earn,” Danang told Tempo, Friday, September 27.

    Danang reiterated that the fuel price in several airports was higher than at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. In Soetta, the price wasRp7,790 per liter, while at other airports such as Sam Ratulangi International Airport, North Sulawesi, it reached Rp10,080 per liter.

    Meanwhile, at Eltari International Airport, Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, the selling price of jet fuel is Rp9,970 per liter; at Mutiara Sis Al-Jufri Airport, Palu, Central Sulawesi at Rp10,080 per liter; and Raja Haji Fisabilillah International Airport, Tanjung Pinang, Riau Island at Rpp9,540 per liter.

    Danang balked at detailing the losses that passengers would bear, yet admitted the high price of avtur had forced his company to raise its airfares. As a result, the passenger occupancy was declining. “Because the public purchasing power is low too,” he added.

    According to him, Wings Air would then focus on serving flight routes in Sumatra, Java, and Kalimantan, which are considered lucrative. Besides, the avtur price there is relatively cheaper.

    The seven routes to be dropped are mostly in the country’s eastern parts, viz. Palu – Morowali, Palu – Ampana, Kupang – Rote, Manado – Kao, Manado – Naha, and Manado – Melonguane, as well as Batam – Tanjung Pinang.

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA