Indonesia is projecting a 50 percent increase in its annual domestic airplane passengers by 2015, from the current figure of 60 million to 90 million.
Emirsyah Satar, the president director of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, also the country’s biggest airline, said the growth was in line with a moving global center of gravity that was shifting to high-growth Asia and the Pacific.
The executive added, however, that airlines and airports needed to support each other in their drive toward profitability.
“We really need help and support from airports to improve profitability,” he said, addressing the second day of the Global Airports Indonesia 2012 conference in Jakarta.
He said that while there were about 60 million domestic passengers last year, in 2015 that number will reach 90 million, with international passengers accounting for another 30 million flyers.
Emirsyah stressed the need for a synergy of opportunities between airlines and airports. While airlines were continuing their rapid growth in the country and region, he said airports in Indonesia have been slow to catch up in terms of their capacities and infrastructure.
“We really need improvements in airport infrastructure,” he said, referring to among other problems, congestion, accessibility and passenger experience.
In 2011, there were 705 aircraft owned by local carriers and by 2015, there will be a total of 966 planes, he said.
“Where are all those aircraft going to park?” he asked.
Emirsyah cited the cases of Singapore Airlines, a carrier supported by the renowned Changi Airport, and Cathay Pacific, which relies on Hong Kong International Airport, as examples of the partnership to which Indonesian airports and airlines should aspire.