AirAsia committed to expansion despite route closures


AirAsia cancels routes from Indonesia to Kuala Lumpur but insists it is committed to expanding its fleet in 2018. Source: Wikimedia Commons

BUDGET airline AirAsia has announced the closure of the Surakarta to Kuala Lumpur route which will take effect from January 16.

The convenient two-hour flight route from Central Java in Indonesia to Malaysia’s capital is stopping due to commercial reasons, according to AirAsia Berhad commercial head Spencer Lee.

The sudden announcement and almost immediate shutting of the route mean AirAsia passengers have been left with a travel conundrum.

However, AirAsia has offered consolation to the existing travelers booked on the route by offering them a full refund or the option to reschedule their flight to another AirAsia route.

Passengers traveling to Kuala Lumpur can instead take off from Semarang, Central Java or Yogyakarta, all of which are located within a reasonable distance from Surakarta airport.

This route closure may seem like a blow for the airline, but Lee assured customers AirAsia is still fully committed to adding new routes to Indonesia throughout 2018 and making the tropical region more accessible.

This closure, however, seems to be a new year theme for the airline as it terminates routes from Kuala Lumpur to Kalibo in the Philippines and Surat Thani in Thailand on March 24 and February 25, respectively.

According to The Jakarta Post, the operation and service department manager of state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I, at Adi Soemarmo International Airport in Central Java, said the operator had heard about the news but has yet to receive an official confirmation from the carrier.

“Based on our data, the average number of passengers for the route is relatively high, up to 70 percent [capacity].”