Lion Air Group Launches Batik Air

Lion Air and Batik Air

Lion Air Group will again hit the Indonesian aviation world with the launch of the latest airline subsidiary Batik Air to serve full service but at a cheaper price than are currently they have.

"Today we launched the latest airline, a subsidiary of Lion Air, the Batik Air, which will serve full services with competitive prices and excellent service," said Lion Air general director Edward Sirait while welcoming the arrival of the first Batik Air aircraft in Terminal 3 Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Cengkareng, Tangerang, on Thursday (25/4).

He adds to this new airline, it will put forward the concept of service excellence and timeliness. Regarding tariffs, of course, will be adjusted and will be more competitive than it already is today.

"We note the condition of the market, that go into the business, if the market vulnerable to price, we will consider. Full service different from the LCC (low cost carrier), frequent flyer passengers, the price is not the main, essential services and the timeliness of the service, "he said.

According to Edward Sirait, the presence of Batik Air not be a contender for full service airline that already exist today that Garuda Indonesia, but to be given the complement of air passenger growth of 20% per year

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OOCL more than doubles profit in 2012


Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) more than doubled profit to US$197.2 million last year compared with US$86 million in 2011 on the back of higher freight rates and container volumes.

Profit of parent Orient Overseas (International) Ltd (OOIL) jumped 63 percent from $181.6 million to 296.4 million, reported the South china Morning Post.

The company, which is controlled by the family of former Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, said it remained cautious on market outlook due to excess capacity and intense competition, which could pressure freight rates. Anaemic growth in the US and little improvement in Europe's economic conditions will make 2013 as "challenging" as last year for OOCL, said Ken Cambie, the chief financial officer of OOIL.

First-quarter cargo demand was as difficult as 2012 although container rates were higher than this time last year, he said.

Cambie said OOCL was looking to increase rates in the coming months as cargo contracts are renewed with freight owners on transpacific and Asia-Europe trades and general rate rises are implemented. Asked if there was concern cargo owners could resist rate rises, Cambie said OOCL was seeing a typically seasonal pattern with a weak January and this was expected to be followed by a stronger spring and summer.

Johnson Leung, the head of regional transport at Jefferies, said container lines are expected to get part of the planned $700 per TEU increase on Asia-Europe trades from March 15. Cambie said Soren Skou, the chief executive of Maersk Line, the world's largest container shipping company, expected freight rates would be higher in 2013 than last year.

But warning of potentially choppy conditions ahead, Cambie said there may be a trend of switching factory production back to the US, while Chinese manufacturers could refocus on the mainland's domestic market, creating a slowdown in exports. Both would hit cargo demand at a time when delivery of new container ship capacity will rise.

Some 274 container ships averaging 6,400 TEUs are set to be delivered globally this year, compared with 207 box ships averaging 6,100 TEUs that were delivered last year and 161 ships averaging 7,300 TEUs in 2014.

Cambie confirmed that the average load factor on OOCL's fleet of 98 ships fell to 73 per cent, down three per cent compared with 2011. But the firm was "quite happy to take 73 per cent and be profitable rather than 90 per cent and be losing money".

Jon Windham, the head of industrials research at Barclays, said OOIL "did well relatively" to comparable container lines. He added the outlook was "pretty negative, but probably accurate". Explaining the buoyant result of OOCL, Cambie said improving freight rate levels in the second quarter continued into the third quarter to give a much stronger second half.

OOCL posted a second half operating profit of $111 million against a US$38.3 million operating loss in the second half 2011. But he said there was a disappointing end to the year as freight rates and container volumes deteriorated in the fourth quarter.

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KUALA NAMU Airport as an International Hub


PT Angkasa Pura II will make Kuala Namu Airport Medan as an international aviation hub, while Soekarno-Hatta Jakarta Cengkareng, as the domestic aviation hub.

Angkasa Pura II President Director Tri Sunoko said the commitment to make Kuala Namu airport as a international hub appropriate given its location geographically closer to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Geographical advantages, making flights from Medan to be much more efficient to ASEAN countries and other countries rather than flying from Jakarta in terms of time and fuel.

Since January, Kuala Namu Airport running on shadow operation to test navigation equipment and radar airport.

If after operating officially later, it is optimistic that the airport is located in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, it can shift the position of Singapore's Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Airports.

Tri Sunoko insist the Soekarno-Hatta airport which operating since 1985 is still to be developed considering the capacity already exceeds the limit but will be focusing a collector for domestic airports.

Both airports are also considered in the list of airports that are used to deal with the ASEAN Open Sky 2015.

Therefore, it also requested the cooperation with stakeholders including the Ministry of Transportation in order to realize the plan's two airports. "These ideals we must work together," he said.

Ministry of Transportation reported that there were five airports are prepared to face the Asean Open Sky namely Soekarno Hatta (Jakarta), Juanda (Surabaya), Sultan Hasanuddin (Makassar), Kuala Namu Airport (Medan) and Ngurah Rai (Bali).

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