THE MERGER or combination of companies between Citilink and Pelita Air was responded positively by the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno.

“Pelita Air and Citilink are both strong. With the merger of the Garuda Indonesia and Pertamina subsidiaries, we hope there will be a significant increase in the number of aircraft,” said Sandiaga Uno when met after the Weekly Press Briefing event, Monday (01/22) 2024.

Sandiaga said that there was a target of 700 domestic route aircraft before the COVID-19 pandemic, while now there are only around 450 domestic route aircraft.

“At least, we can cover the shortfall (number of aircraft) gradually until 2025 and next year the target is to return to post-pandemic numbers,” he said.

The number of aircraft that Sandiaga hopes for is less than 600, only 500 aircraft. It is hoped that this airline merger will reduce the increasingly expensive price of domestic airline tickets, as well as increase the number of domestic tourists.

Previously, BUMN Minister Erick Thohir recently also said the same thing when he was met at a different event explaining the low number of domestic route aircraft in Indonesia. The United States has 7,200 aircraft serving domestic routes with a population of 300 million people.

“Meanwhile, Indonesia, which has a population of 280 million, only has 450 aircraft, whereas it actually needs 729 aircraft. BUMN continues to reduce logistics costs. Pelindo from 4 (companies) to 1. Previously, logistics costs reached 23%, now it is 11%. We are also trying to merge Pelita Air, Citilink and Garuda to reduce costs,” said Erick, quoted from the news.

Furthermore, Sandiaga also responded to the merger of state-owned airport operators PT Angkasa Pura (AP) I and PT Angkasa Pura II. This merger will create synergies so that operational costs can be reduced and services can be better

“So that more flights can be served to international airports,” concluded Sandiaga. [ special]