Tigerair Mandala cuts flights

Budget carrier Tigerair Mandala, an Indonesia-Singapore joint venture, says it is cutting back on some of its flights because of soaring fuel costs.

The measures would affect 11 of its 20 routes, including the suspension of all its Jakarta-Surabaya flights, airline spokesman Lucas Suryananta told The Jakarta Post over the phone on Wednesday.

“We are trying to maintain efficiency,” Lucas said.

The Jakarta-Surabaya route is one of the busiest and mostly fiercely fought-for routes among budget airlines.

Also affected are the services between Jakarta-Hong Kong, which will decrease from five to four flights a week, and between Jakarta- Pekanbaru, from twice to once daily, Lucas said.

Tigerair Mandala, which is 51-percent owned by Saratoga Investment Corp and 33 percent by Singapore-based Tigerair Group, joined Indonesia’s rapidly growing budget airline market in 2012. It traces its lineage to the Mandala Airlines which ceased operations in January 2011 due to financial difficulties.

The recent hikes in aviation fuel prices and the falling rupiah’s are hurting most budget airlines.