Indonesia’s new cargo airline, Megantara Air has decided to focus on strengthening its Jakarta-Singapore service, which it started on May 29.
Deploying a B727-200, with a capacity of 22 tonnes, the carrier is operating fi ve weekly fl ights and with the arrival of a new freighter in the next two or three months, it will increase to ten weekly fl ights before the end of the year. CEO Sofyan Danu Siswantoro disclosed that Megantara Air was established in response to the booming air cargo volumes from Jakarta to various destinations worldwide via Singapore.
Siswantoro said the growth of domestic airfreight had also prompted the decision to start a new cargo airline, in addition to the experience with Megantara Cargo, the GSSA of Transmile Air in Jakarta, which he has been heading.
“Most importantly, we already have a captive market which will sustain Megantara Air, including the support of Transmile Air,” Siswantoro said. He added that Singapore had been selected as transhipment hub because cargo volumes to and from the Lion City were relatively stable with average load factors of 80 percent since the fi rst fl ight in May. Megantara’s next move will be focusing on adding more Asia Pacifi c cities, such as Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, and Shanghai to its network. The negotiations are ongoing, said Siswantoro.
The target of a Kuala Lumpur service will be cargo interline deals with Lufthansa Cargo, Nippon Cargo Airlines, South African Airline, Qantas, and other carriers, which has been pioneered by Transmile. “Transhipment at Kuala Lumpur’s airport is growing rapidly because it is cheaper and not crowded,” Siswantoro said, adding that the airline is waiting for IATA’s approval as well as additional freighters. In the next two years Megantara expects to have six freighters, including several B737-200s for domestic services, particularly for feeding services to and from Makassar, Balikpapan and Medan, which are the potential cargo centres for Megantara.
Balikpapan is a primary destination for the mining industry and offshore spareparts, while Makassar offers garment and marine products (fresh fi sh, tuna, shrimps), and Medan general cargo and perishables (fruits and vegetables).
Siswantoro said that the additional freighters are ‘just next door’, as he is negotiating a deal with Transmile, which is phasing out its B727-200s and replacing them with more MD11s andB747 freighters. – Siktus Harson