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Garuda Indonesia eyes Komodo airport

Publication Date : 02-04-2014


Indonesia's national flag carrier, PT Garuda Indonesia, is the first company to submit a proposal to take over the management of one of the 10 non-commercial airports on offer from the Transportation Ministry.

The ministry’s airport director, Bambang Tjahyono, said Garuda had submitted a written statement expressing its interest to manage Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, due to its tourism potential.

“Garuda also began direct flights to Labuan Bajo with ATR aircraft last year, [a move] that further fueled the company’s motivation to take over the airport,” Bambang told The Jakarta Post.

In connection to Garuda’s reported proposal, Pujobroto, the airline’s vice president for communications, said on Tuesday that he was unable to confirm if the airline would bid to manage the airport.

“Garuda Indonesia is currently studying the possibility to manage [some of] those airports,” Pujobroto said.

“We see the airport management and aviation industries as one.”

Garuda Indonesia president director Emirsyah Satar previously stated that the airline would choose an airport located in a city with potential.

“We will see the potential of the airport, but mostly we’ll choose one that has tourism potential,” he said.

Bambang said the ministry was currently preparing documents to firstly offer three non-commercial airports, including Komodo, on a tender.

The other two airports are Radin Inten II in Bandar Lampung, Lampung, and Mutiara in Palu, Central Sulawesi.

Bambang said that the first tender process would be ready in four months.

In the following tender, the ministry would offer seven other non-commercial airports — Sentani in Papua; Juwata in Tarakan, North Kalimantan; Matahora in Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi; Sultan Babullah in Ternate, Maluku; Tjilik Riwut in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan; Janandjoedin in Tanjung Pandan, Bangka Belitung; and Fatmawati Soekarno in Bengkulu.

“We chose to offer airports that have arrivals of more than 500,000 passengers annually, with two-digit annual growth,” Bambang said.

Citing examples, he said Raden Inten II Airport currently served 22 flights per day with annual passengers of around 1 million, while annual passengers in both Palu and Labuan Bajo reached 800,000.

Bambang said the ministry was offering private companies or other state-owned enterprises, besides state-run airport operators Angkasa Pura I and II, the opportunity to manage the airports, to help reduce the government’s dependency on the state airport operators.

“We also have to give private firms a chance to boost competitiveness [in the airport management industry] so that Angkasa Pura would be encouraged to increase their level of service,” he said.


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