Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - Sriwijaya Air has taken over the flight service on the Batam-Natuna route from Sky Aviation, which has stopped operation since mid March 2014.

Sriwijaya already started serving the route on March 24 three times per day, head of the general administration of the Hang Nadim International airport of Baram, Suwarso said here on Wednesday.

Sriwijaya takes off from Batam at 11.10 local time every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday using Boeing 737-300/400/500 aircraft, Suwarso said.

"Currently it is only three times a week. We hope the airline could serve regular flight everyday on the route," he said.

Sky Aviation stopped operation in the region on March 18, 2014 including flights to Pontianak, Natuna, Anambas, Bandar Lampung, Pangkal Pinang and Palembang.

"Until now Sriwijaya has taken over only the Batam-Natuna route. Other routes are still open for other airlines," he said.

The Batam-Natuna route is also served by Wings Air, Suwarso said, adding the nations flag carrier Garuda Indonesia also plans to serve the route that will take around 90 minutes.

Sriwijaya Air also serves regular flights between Batam and Jakarta and between Batam and Jambi each once per day.

The Batam Management Body (BP Batam) predicted that the number of air passengers and flight from and to Batam would increase 30 percent this year.

"This year a number of airlines will increase their frequency and new airlines will serve regular flights to and from the airport," BP Batam spokesman Dwi Djoko Wiwoho said.

The countrys largest airline Lion Air has made Hang Nadim as its hub airport to link the countrys western and eastern regions.

Nam Air, Malindo Air, Batik Air will also soon start operations from Batam, Dwi said.

Meanwhile, Garuda Indonesia and its subsidiary Citilink plan to increase flights from Hang Nadim, he added.


Editor: Jafar M Sidik
Copyright © ANTARA 2014