Conglomerate Rusdi Kirana's Super Air Jet Is Getting Faster, Citilink And AirAsia Should Be Worried?
Illustrations (Photo: Doc. Super Air Jet)

JAKARTA - The newest commercial airline company in Indonesia, Super Air Jet, is known to continue to develop business activities. Recently, the airlines owned by conglomerate Rusdi Kirana are said to be adding operational services by opening new routes from Jakarta to Jambi and Batam to Pekanbaru.

Inevitably, what was shown by Super Air Jet became a positive anomaly at a time when other airlines were under great pressure and trying to 'deal with the pandemic' to survive.

Indeed, Super Air Jet was born unique. The airline leverages older, but decent, aircraft for low rental costs. As a result, operational costs have been reduced. The good news, this strategy pushes the selling price of plane tickets to be cheap. This factor also makes Super Air Jet choose the cost carrier (LCC) segment.

The large LCC market in the country is indeed quite tempting and full of challenges. However, the progress shown by Super Air Jet can be a threat for incumbent players, such as Citilink and AirAsia. The question is, should they worry about being crushed by the business octopus of the conglomerate Rusdi Kirana?

No one knows for sure. However, indications of business performance can be an illustration of how the two airlines work during the current pandemic.

First, Citilink. The subsidiary of PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk is the business wing of the national flag carrier to work on the LCC passenger segment. It is common knowledge that the parent of Citilink is currently in a "not okay" condition. The accumulated debt burden is suspected to be a source of financial performance problems.

However, Citilink is still able to show pretty good results. Citing reports on the official website, the number of passengers for the QG flight coded airline was 5.3 million people as of September 2021.

That number increased by 34.9 percent compared to the same period the previous year which was 3.9 million people. Meanwhile, the number of aircraft controlled by Citilink was recorded at 68 units with an average age of 8.89 years. Then, the number of routes served by Citilink is 100 routes to 47 destinations until 2020.

As for AirAsia, earlier this month the Malaysian airline was hit by the issue of layoffs or layoffs. Even so, AirAsia Indonesia emphasized that the company's operations remained stable and not in bad condition. In January 2022, this airline will serve nine routes after canceling scheduled flights in September 2021.

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