Sriwijaya Air, a local low-cost carrier, expects a 15 percent increase in passenger numbers this year with five of the 12 Boeing Next Generation 737-800s it ordered scheduled to be put into service.
Sriwijaya Air’s president director, Chandra Lee, said the 12 Boeing Next Generation 737-800 would cost $900 million and would be financed by lessor GE Commercial Aviation Safety.
The airline is modernizing its fleet by replacing 12 of its Boeing 737-200 and 737-300 aircraft with the new-generation Boeings.
The Boeing Next Generation 737-800, according to Chandra, will help the company “save on jet fuel and be more comfortable for passengers.”
Chandra said the airline aimed to open more routes, especially to the eastern part of Indonesia. The country has a population of about 245 million but only about 61 million air travelers each year.
He said the number of people flying would grow on average by 15 percent to 20 percent per year for domestic routes.
Sriwijaya Air is currently categorized as a “medium-service airline,” which means it only offers light snacks during its flights. The designation refers to the variety of services offered on board, such as meals, baggage allowance and in-flight entertainment.
It plans to start full-service flights next year. According to government regulations, an airline must have a minimum of 31 aircraft offering business-class services and full meals to offer full-service flights.
Sriwijaya Air has 37 aircraft serving 35 domestic destinations and two overseas destinations — Penang in Malaysia and Singapore.
The number of international passengers traveling to Indonesia between January and March saw strong growth of 13 percent to two million, according to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).
Meanwhile, domestic passengers rose 15.4 percent to 12.5 million.