Mandala Airlines, the Indonesian low-cost carrier and partner of Tiger Airlines, has started a new service between Jakarta and Bangkok from August 10.
The outbound flight on the airline’s new A320 aircraft leaves Jakarta at 0800 and arrives in Bangkok at 1140 everyday except Friday and Sunday; on these two days it leaves at 0700 and lands at 1025.
The return leg departs from the Thai capital at 1225 and touches down in Jakarta at 1555 on everyday except Friday and Sunday, when it takes off at 1125 for 1455 arrival.
A spokesperson of Mandala said the airline introduced the flights because it had seen a surging demand for travel between the two cities, especially from business travellers as the economies of the two Asian capitals continue to develop rapidly.
“The opening of our Jakarta–Bangkok service is an opportunity to tap the demand of business travellers from the two cities that were listed among the top-five cities with the fastest economic growth in South East Asia in a 2011 study by the Brooking’s Institute,” said the spokesperson.
Indonesia is currently seeing a particularly impressive surge in foreign investment, which reached a record INR5.6 trillion (US$5.9 billion) in the second quarter of 2012, a 30 per cent increase from the same period last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Other carriers competing for passengers on this route include AirAsia and Garuda, with the latter doubling the number of flights last year (see story here).
Mandala, which previously flew to Macau, Singapore and Hong Kong, shut down due to debt problems at the start of 2011 but then resumed operations in February this year, after Singapore-based Tiger Airways bought 33 per cent of its shares (see story here).
The carrier launched international flights between Jakarta and Singapore in April and between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur in May. According to the spokesperson, the airline said the introduction of the Jakarta-Bangkok service was part of a broader expansion plan and it aimed to operate more than 10 aircraft by next year.