Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Garuda Indonesia will review its flights to Japan from Jakarta and Denpasar (Bali) and vice versa due to a drop in passengers, its marketing director Arif Wibowo said.
"It is unavoidable. Our plan is reducing the flights from March to May," he said when contacted here on Monday.
He said the decision was made because the number of passengers from Indonesia to Japan and vice versa had dropped at an average of 10 percent compared to the same period last year.
"This is part of the impact of earthquake and tsunami in Japan early this month," he said.
He said Garuda planned to use the planes for Japan to serve the Middle East routes especially the Jakarta-Jeddah route.
"The hope is after May we could maximize income from the Middle East route," he said.
The national flag carrier has so far conducted 24 flights to Japan per week namely Jakarta-Tokyo sever times a week, Denpasar-Osaka seven times a week, Denpasar-tokyo seven times a week and Denpasar-Nagoya three times a week.
Based on the evaluation since mid-March the Jakarta-Tokyo route will be combined with the Denpasar-Tokyo route to become Jakarta-Denpasar-Tokyo route which will be served seven times a week.
He said the Jakarta-Jeddah route would now be served three times a day.
"The Airbus A330 which has so far been used to serve Japanese routes would now be used to serve the Middle East routes espcially Jeddah so that the route is now served by three planes namely two A330 and one B747-400," he said.
He said right now the passenger load to and from Japan has dropped to 66 percent while Jakarta-Jeddah more than 90 percent.
So far flights to and from Japan contribute 20 percent of the state-owned airline company`s revenue from international routes.