PETALING JAYA: Indonesia-based airline PT TransNusa Aviation Mandiri will make its entry into the Malaysian commercial aviation market with twice-daily direct flights from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur and vice versa beginning April 14.

The airline, which initially served as an Indonesian domestic carrier, is now transiting to international destinations, offering full-fledged airline facilities and services.

TransNusa CEO, group aviation, Datuk Bernard Francis said they are also discussing with the authorities to fly to Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang.

He shared that the airline has aspirations beyond the point-to-point market and is planning to connect with other airlines operating in Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

“We are talking about potential codeshares with other regional airlines that operate (from) Kuala Lumpur and, similarly, also from Terminal 3, we could work with other airlines. We want to also have interline and codeshare opportunities by flying to an airport that serves many airlines, that would widen our opportunities to work with other airlines and grow our market,” he told reporters after TransNusa’s media briefing today.

Francis said TransNusa has identified potential airline partners and are in talks with them but “nothing is concrete yet”.

On Sabah and Sarawak, he said he has held talks with their tourism boards to explore direct flight options.

“We are definitely studying the opportunities for us to fly to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. More so, with Indonesia shifting their capital city to Nusantara, next year. Sabah and Sarawak are already in our plans but we need to study how its going to be before we start our operations,” Francis said.

He also said the Covid-19 pandemic gave the airline the opportunity to reinvent itself and position it as a premium service carrier in the international market, utilising a new business model that offers products and services between the full-service sector and the low-cost sector.

The airline’s attraction to Malaysia stems from the fact that there are 2.4 million people travelling this route annually despite the frequency of travellers using this route declining by 40%, due to the pandemic.

It believes that the demand is still high and intends to offer more comfortable travel packages to complement the demand for flights to its home base.

TransNusa has received approvals from the relevant Malaysian aviation authorities and is awaiting the green light for flgiths to Johor Bahru. It currently has two bases in Indonesia, which are in Bali and Jakarta. The 15-year-old airline owns and operates four aircraft and expects to increase the number to six aircraft within the next six months.