Batik Air finally ready to begin Australia services with Jun-2017 Bali-Perth launch, are more Australian cities next?

Batik Air has set a 21-Jun-2017 launch date for service from Bali to Perth, the first Australia route for the Indonesian full service airline. Batik, which is part of the Lion Group, will initially operate Bali-Perth with two daily flights using A320s in two class 156-seat configuration.

Batik’s Malaysian sister carrier Malindo Air already serves Perth from Kuala Lumpur. Malindo has been assisting Batik over the last six months build up a marketing presence in Western Australia. Malindo is also familiar with the Bali-Australia market as it has been operating daily service on the Bali-Brisbane route since late Mar-2017. Malindo and now Batik are relying heavily on Australia point of sales as the Bali market consists almost entirely of inbound visitors.

The Lion Group plans to eventually offer services from Bali to several Australian destinations. Batik will be the operator of future Bali-Australia routes, including Bali to Melbourne and Sydney, as Malindo does not the traffic rights to support more Bali-Australia routes.

The Lion Group plans to eventually offer services from Bali to several Australian destinations. Batik will be the operator of future Bali-Australia routes, including Bali to Melbourne and Sydney, as Malindo does not the traffic rights to support more Bali-Australia routes. Malindo was able to secure fifth freedom rights for Bali-Brisbane but the relevant bilaterals limit Malaysian carriers to only seven weekly Malaysia-Australia frequencies via Indonesia. The Lion Group also prefers to use its full-service brand rather than its LCC subsidiary Lion to operate Indonesia-Australia services.

Malindo plans to adopt the Batik brand in 2H2017, providing a single brand for all Lion Group flights in the Australian market. In addition to Bali-Melbourne and Bali-Sydney, the group is looking at launching Kuala Lumpur-Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur-Sydney services using A330s, which Malindo (soon to be Batik Malaysia) will be operating from 4Q2017.

Bali to Melbourne and Sydney will likely be launched by Batik once it takes delivery of A320neo/A321neos, which offer improved range over the A320ceos and 737NGs currently in the Batik fleet. Batik currently operates 34 A320s and eight 737s, according to the CAPA Fleet Database.

Batik currently only has one international route, Jakarta-Singapore, but is also planning to launch services to Kuala Lumpur in Jun-2017. It is also aiming to add several more international routes in 2H2017 including to India. Some of the new international routes may be served from Bali, opening up one-stop connections for Australia passengers.

With the launch of Batik to Perth, consumers will again have a fourth option for travelling to Bali, a popular destination for Western Australia residents. Perth-Bali is currently served by Garuda, Jetstar and Indonesia AirAsia.

LCCs AirAsia and Jetstar both offer three daily flights on the route using single class A320s. Garuda offers the only current full service option but has just five weekly flights using two class A330-200s. Tigerair Australia dropped the route in early 2016; prior to Tigerair the route was served by its full service parent Virgin Australia.

With the launch of Batik to Perth, consumers will again have a fourth option for travelling to Bali

Batik is offering return economy class fares in the Perth-Bali market starting at approximately AUD350 including taxes. Business class fares start at slightly over AUD600 return.

Batik has 12 seats in 2 by 2 configuration in its business class cabin, offering 45in pitch. Batik’s business class seats do not convert into beds but none of Batik’s Perth-Bali flights will operate overnight. Batik is offering a morning and early evening departure from Bali and an early afternoon and evening departure from Bali. The evening departure from Bali lands in Perth just after midnight and the aircraft remains overnight at Perth Airport before returning to Bali the next morning.

Batik’s economy product includes a relatively generous 32in pitch, seatback inflight entertainment monitors, meals, drinks and checked bags.

Connections beyond Bali are available to domestic destinations throughout Indonesia. However, all the domestic connections are operated by low cost sister airline Lion Air except Jakarta. Batik currently only serves Bali from Jakarta.

Batik has been preparing for several months to launch services to Australia. Batik secured approvals from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in Nov-2016 and initially stated it would begin flights from Bali to Perth in Dec-2016 or Jan-2017. The launch of Bali-Perth services was subsequently pushed back multiple times, initially to Feb-2017.