CHENNAI: The steady growth in the number of visitors from South India to South East Asia has driven Batik Air, a subsidiary airline of Indonesia’s Lion Air, to launch a new route linking Chennai with Bali, Indonesia, a major tourist destination.This flight will be through Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, another route with increasing passenger traffic.
Announcing the launch of the new route, spokespersons from the carrier said that the first flight on this route, which took off on July 23 saw a passenger load factor (percentage of seats filled) of more than 80 per cent.From August 26, Batik Air will launch a second flight from Indonesia’s Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, to Chennai, added Ramdas Shivram, general manager, sales and business development at Batik Air.
“Chennai is not the last. We have plans to expand routes to several other cities in South India. The next city route in the pipeline is Bengaluru to Indonesia and we may begin operations within a year,” said the firm.According to the company, Batik Air will do code sharing with sister concern Malinda Air with the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Chennai using the same flight number as the latter.“However, Malindo Air will soon rebrand itself as Malindo Batik Air,” the firm added.The aviation industry, both based in and flying to India, has been witnessing steady growth over the last few years. According to Batik Air, this is one of the reasons for its decision to expand services to Indian cities.