Lion Air to open Singapore-Bali route

Lion AirJAKARTA ~ The largest private airline company in Indonesia, Lion Air, is planning to open a route linking Singapore with Bali in the near future, the airline’s corporate secretary, Hasyim Arsal Alhabsi, has said.

“We are planning to serve the route beginning next June or July after today’s opening of a Jakarta-Singapore-Vietnam route,” Alhabsi said in Jakarta on Friday.

He said the route would be opened to offer Singaporean tourists comfortable direct flights to Bali.

Alhasbi said his company would serve the Singapore-Bali route with newest Boeing 737-900ER airliners which were expected to arrive in Indonesia on April 28, 2008.

“This plan is being made in line with the government’s Visit Indonesia Year (VIY) 2008 program,” he said.

He said at the initial stage, the flight frequency on the Singapore-Bali route would be once a day with an average load factor target of 75 percent.

The opening of the new route was also expected to support the newly opened Jakarta-Singapore-Vietnam route.

“So passengers bound for Vietnam can take a flight from Jakarta or from Denpasar (Bali),” he said.

In connection with the opening of the Jakarta-Singapore-Vietnam route, Lion Air had flown 30 travel agents from Vietnam to Bali to make a direct observation of the Indonesian tourist island.

Alhabsi expressed hope that the Ministry of Transportation would give priority to domestic airlines in granting additional flight frequencies rather than to foreign ones.

The Ministry of Transportation has previously granted Singapore Airlines additional flight frequencies from four to seven flights daily for Singapore Airlines.

The granting of the additional flight frequencies was aimed at making the Indonesia Visit Year 2008 a success. During the VIY 2008 it is expected that seven million foreign tourists would arrive in Indonesia.

The decision to grant additional flight frequencies was reached in a coordinative meeting led by Vice President Jusuf Kalla with Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal and Tourism and Culture Minister Jero Wacik.

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