Lion Air Group’s full service airline unit Batik Air is set to launch a Bali to Perth route after obtaining Air Operator Certification on Friday (25/11) which would allow the unit to extend its consumer base to Australia.
Under the Lion Air Group, Batik Air will be the second carrier to operate a route to Australia after the Malaysian-based Malindo Air — its joint venture with Malaysia’s National Aerospace and Defence Industries (NADI) — launched its Kuala Lumpur to Perth route in 2015.
Lion Air Group president director Edward Sirait said under the permission by Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Batik Air will be able to operate three aircraft — Airbus A320-200, Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737-900 — in the round-trip flight to Australia.
“CASA is one of the world’s most strict aviation regulator. This November, we have also been listed in the IATA Operational Safety Audit, or IOSA, as we managed to lift up off the European Union air safety blacklist,” Edward Sirait said in a statement issued Sunday (27/11).
Lion Group chairman Rusdi Kirana said there are plans to establish a new carrier based in Australia, where local government policy permits airlines which are 100 percent foreign owned to operate domestic and international services.
“We want to start Batik Air route from Bali to Perth before establishing a new carrier in Australia,” Rusdi said.
Batik air began operations in May 2013 with Boeing 737-900ERs leased from its holding company, Lion Air. The carrier now has a 37 aircraft strong fleet and operates 25 domestic routes and one international route to Singapore.
Australian tourists make up the largest group of foreign visitors to Bali. As of September this year, Australian tourists reached 850,326 up 6.6 percent from the same period last year at 727.678, according to data from Bali’s central statistic agency.