Competition to the holiday island of Bali is about to ramp up with Indonesian carrier Batik Air gaining approval to start services to Australia.
The airline announced it had received an air operator’s certificate from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) that would allow it to become the second member of the Lion Air Group to service Australian destinations. It joins Malaysian joint-venture Malindo Air, which provides services between Perth and Kuala Lumpur.
The AOC gives Batik clearance to operate single-aisle A320-200, Boeing 737-800, and Boeing 737-900 aircraft and it flagged its intention to start services between Bali and Perth this month or next, subject to the finalisation of administrative details.
The full-service carrier plans to eventually service other Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne but said it would concentrate initially on its Perth-Denpasar route.
The airline recently passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), an international program designed to examine and assess the operational management and control systems of an airline.
Batik Air chief executive Achmad Luthfie said the airline had been working hard to get the IOSA certificate, which involved a three-month audit with a checklist of more than a thousand items. The airline had fulfilled all the requirements both in terms of engineering and safety, he said.
Batik operates its aircraft in a two-class configuration and currently flies to 28 Indonesian destinations and Singapore, according information posted to its website. It is adding four Airbus A320s by the end of this year and currently operates 37 aircraft with a total of 200 flights per day.
Plans are afoot to fly next year to the Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou and airline officials see India as another potential destination.