Tue, 01 Aug 2000

EVA Air says traffic loads back to precrisis level

JAKARTA (JP): The number of passengers flying between Taipei and three Indonesian cities on EVA Air has returned to its precrisis level, the Taiwan-based airline said on Monday.

The load factor on flights from Taipei to Jakarta, Surabaya and Denpasar averaged 70 percent during the low season this year, compared to 60 percent at the peak of the economic crisis in 1998, EVA Air deputy general manager Makmun Hamsa said.

"During the peak seasons the load factor could reach up to 90 percent or 92 percent, and for Bali it could reach 99 percent," Makmun said.

"People have now gotten used to the monetary crisis and since it looks like the dollar has stabilized people are more sure about doing business," he said.

The peak seasons are during the summer holidays between July and August, during the Chinese New Year and at Christmas, Makmun said.

EVA Air has daily flights between Taipei and Jakarta, five flights a week to and from Denpasar and three flights a week to and from Surabaya, with a transit in Denpasar.

The airline uses the 272-seat Boeing 747-400 Combi for its Jakarta route and the 212-seat Boeing 767-200 for its Denpasar and Surabaya services.

Ken Chang, EVA Air's outgoing owner's representative in Jakarta, the equivalent of a general manager, said that for the last two years many people from Taiwan had chosen Bali as their holiday destination due to political unrest in Jakarta.

In 1999, 354,271 people from Taiwan visited Indonesia, a total which placed Taiwan behind Singapore, Japan, Australia and Malaysia in number of tourists visiting the country, according to the Office of the State Minister of Tourism and Arts. (10)