JAKARTA: The number of domestic and international route airplane passengers during the Christmas 2010 and 2011 New Year holiday period is estimated at 2.27 million, rising 14.18% from 1.99 million passengers during the same period in 2009.
Director General of Air Transportation at the Ministry of Transportation Herry Bakti Singayuda Gumay said airlines had enough seats to accommodate demand for domestic and international routes. "The capacity is sufficient. Besides, airlines will also increase their flight frequency," he explained yesterday. The number of domestic route passengers is estimated at 1.91 million passengers during December 22, 2010 - January 4, 2010, rising 15% from 1.66 million during the same period in 2009. In the meantime, the number of international route passengers is projected at 357,387 passengers, up 10% from 324,897 passengers during the same period last year. Head of the Center for Public Communication at the Ministry of Transportation Bambang S. Ervan said three national airlines and three foreign airlines until yesterday had already been given extra flights. The three local airlines are Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia AirAsia, and Mandala, while the three foreign carriers are China Airlines, Strategic Airlines, and Silk Air. Garuda has seven extra flights (2,966 seats) for Jakarta-Denpasar-Jakarta route, which the state carrier flies with wide-bodied Boeing 747-400 airplanes. Indonesia AirAsia has 20 extra flights for Jakarta-Denpasar-Jakarta route, which it will fly with narrow-bodied Boeing 737-300 or Airbus 320 airplanes. "Usually, requests for extra flights for domestic routes will increase a week prior to the holiday period since airlines are waiting to see the ticket booking trend," Bambang said. In the meantime, Mandala requests ten extra flights for Jakarta-Hong Kong-Jakarta route, which it will fly with Airbus 320 airplane, while Garuda requests eight extra flights for Jakarta-Singapore-Jakarta route, which it will fly with Boeing 737-800 Next Generation (NG) airplanes.Ferry passengers In the meantime, Merak-Bakauheni and Ketapang-Gilimanuk crossing routes will be ready to anticipate the surging number of passengers and vehicles during the 2010 Christmas and 2011 New Year holiday period. Chairperson of the Merak branch of the River, Lake, and Ferry Transportation Businesses Association Togar Napitupulu revealed only three ferry boats were under maintenance. However, he added, the three ferry boats were expected to provide transportation service prior to the 2010 Christmas and 2011 New Year holiday period. "We don't need to worry about armadas since all of the existing armadas will be ready to anticipate the surging number of passengers and vehicles," he inserted yesterday.He explained 33 ferry boats were prepared on Merak-Bakauheni route to anticipate the surging number of passengers and vehicles during the 2010 Christmas and 2011 New Year holiday period.According to him, not all of the ferry boats would be operated since traditionally there would not be any significant surge in the number of passengers and vehicles during the 2010 Christmas and 2011 New Year holiday period. "Based on experience in the past years, there will not be any significant surge in the number of passengers and vehicles from Sumatra to Java or vice versa during the 2010 Christmas and 2011 New Year holiday period." At the moment, there are 33 armadas serving Merak-Bakauheni route, which are operated by PT Dharma Lautan Utama, PT Windu Karsa, PT Putra Master SP, PT Jembatan Madura and PT Indonesia Ferry ASDP. During the low season, around 18 boats are idle every day due to the limited numbers of piers and cargoes or passengers. Even if all of the piers, including pier V, are operated, five boats will remain idle. (wiw)
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