Indonesia Becomes Largest Market for Singaporean Airlines

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    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Aviation observer Dudi Sudibyo said Indonesia is a target market for airlines from Singapore. "Just imagine the total number of populations and airports in Indonesia. Of course Indonesia is a great market for them," Dudi told Tempo yesterday.

    More slot capacities given to Singaporean airlines mean tighter competition between Indonesian airlines that serve routes to Singapore. "Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air and Lion Air will compete rigorously."

    Restrictions on foreign airlines are also conducted by the US government. Even though the US implements open-sky system, there are some domestic airports that do not serve foreign-airline flights. "The US also has open sky, but some flights only use national airlines such as from Los Angeles to New York," Dudi said.

    Transportation Minister Evert Erenst Mangindaan previously prohibited Singaporean airlines from imposing overly cheap tickets in Indonesia. "They can enter Indonesia but the ticket price must be this much. Singapore Airlines is subsidized so they can sell at a cheap rate to Indonesian [passengers]. So there wouldn't be a raise for national airlines' tariff, but there will be for foreign airlines," said Mangindaan.

    Based on the Centre for Aviation’s (CAPA) 2013 data, Singapore-Indonesia flight market capacity rose 40 percent compared to 2012. The most wanted routes are Singapore-Jakarta, Singapore-Bali, Singapore-Surabaya and Singapore-Medan while the capacity in other 10 destinations in Indonesia that also have direct flights from Singapore has increased by 78 percent.

    CAPA also said Indonesia is the largest market for Singaporean airlines, with 16 percent of total seating capacity.