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An Airbus A321 on approach to Las Vegas. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

New Indonesian Start-up Eyes Millennial Travelers

Indonesian budget start-up airline Super Air Jet is the latest airline trying it luck to find a seat within the aviation industry, having just established in May 2021, per Business Times. Its President Director, Ari Azhari, said this fresh private carrier was entirely funded and owned by Indonesians.

“This air carrier is a new private air carrier in the daily scheduled passenger transportation services where its ownership and capital equity come from locals,” he wrote in a statement on Monday.

Industry sources said that the new airline has links to Indonesia’s biggest airline group, Lion Air Group, though the nature of any ownership overlap, nor the actual relationship between the two, is still unknown.

Azhari had been the previous general manager of Lion Air Group, and the statement on Super Air Jet’s launch was provided by Lion Air’s spokesman, who did not respond to questions on Super Air Jet’s links to Lion Air.

Lion Air is itself a low-cost airline, so the move to launch another low-cost carrier in the same market has some industry experts tilting their heads in confusion. The Lion Air Group also owns full-service airline Batik Air as well as a regional airline, a business jet company and an air freight airline, providing its owners with the lion’s share of the Indonesian airline market.

Super Air Jet’s business model is focused on technology-obsessed millennials with a propensity to travel. With Indonesia’s large domestic market already open and expected to rebound quickly in the coming months, the airline deems now as the appropriate time to enter.

“Super Air Jet was founded on the basis of optimism that market opportunities especially for domestic flights in Indonesia still exist and are wide open,” Azhari said. “There is very strong demand from the community for air travel today, especially from millennials.”

In The Process

Super Air Jet said that its inaugural flight was scheduled for the “near future.”

But before it can actually start flight operations, the airline has yet to obtain a commercial operating permit from the Indonesian Transport Ministry – its Air Operator Certificate is still being processed at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Super Air Jet has been dubbed with the callsign IU from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and SJV from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Once licensed, the airline plans to start with 180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft focused on domestic routes before a later international expansion, Azhari said in a statement.

The airline’s first aircraft would be PK-SAJ, which is a 10.5-year-old ex-IndiGo Airlines narrow-body owned by CDB Aviation previously ferried from Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta – where it had been undergoing maintenance since mid-February – via Kuala Lumpur to Batam in April 2021.

Independent aviation analyst Brendan Sobie noted that Super Air Jet would be taking advantage of cheap aircraft lease costs with hundreds of aircraft sitting unused around the world.

Indonesia, an archipelago of thousands of islands, is currently the world’s sixth largest aviation market based on capacity, according to data firm OAG.

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