Jakarta. ASI Pudjiastuti Aviation, an Indonesian airline operator that runs Susi Air, plans to add 10 aircraft to its fleet this year, with aims of expanding its reach.
Total combined cost is estimated to reach as much as $50
million, said Susi Pudjiastuti, chief executive and owner of the airline
operator, on Wednesday.
The additional aircraft will expand the schedule and charter airline’s fleet to 59 airplanes.
want to make citizens of our archipelago feel as if they live in one
continent, instead of thousands of scattered islands. I want to show
them it’s easy to travel using our service,” said Susi.
based in Pangandaran, West Java, is one of the world’s biggest users of
Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft, in the chartered and commuter service
She added that the purchase will be financed by loans, not through leasing.
airlines who operate with small aircraft, it is better to use bank
loans. The option of leasing is a very expensive one,” she explained.
in 2004 with two Cessna Grand Caravans, the company has managed to find
a niche market by flying to remote regions that are not serviced by
larger commercial airlines. Some routes are booked on a charter basis.
Air now serves a total of 195 routes and 165 destinations throughout
Indonesia, from the most western part of Aceh province to the most
eastern part of Merauke in Papua. The airline offers scheduled
commercial flights, block seat flights and scheduled chartered flights.
It also offers spot charter flights and long term charter flights.
Of its 195 domestic routes, 177 — or 91 percent — are unique to Susi Air.
year, it booked $40 million in revenue and in 2014, Susi hopes to see a
20 percent increase, thanks to steady demand from its customers.
biggest challenge is now the rupiah depreciation. It contributes to
around 70 to 80 percent to our total spending, for spare parts,
maintenance and pilot costs,” explained Susi.
Still, she is
confident her business will continue to see growth, along with the
government’s efforts to open more remote areas and build more airports
that can accommodate smaller airlines.
When asked whether she may
be interested to takeover routes leftover by Merpati Airlines, an
ailing state-owned carrier that has suspended all flights in early
February, she said: “If it looks good, we’ll take it [the routes]. But I
don’t know, it all depends on the government.”
Susi was previously a lobster entrepreneur who unintentionally fell into the airline business.
Air’s corporate clients include coal miners Adaro Indonesia and Indika
Energy, diversified conglomerate Bosowa Corporation, cement maker Holcim
Indonesia, as well as global cable news network CNN.