Royale With Cheese

Last updated: June 11, 2012
Pacific Royale logo

A new full-service airline, Pacific Royale, takes off.

For many years, Garuda Indonesia has been the only full-service domestic airline (with meals and in-flight entertainment in economy class)… until now.

Starting 11 June 2012, Garuda has a competitor:

Pacific Royale logo

Pacific Royale will initially commence operations with two planes.

Pacific Royale Flight Map
Pacific Royale’s initial route map
Please note: “Sabang” is actually Bandung’s airport

One plane will connect Surabaya with Semarang, Bandung and Pangkalan Bun, while the other plane based in Batam will fly to Padang, Jambi, Kerinci and Pekanbaru.

As its fleet grows, Pacific Royale plans to become the only airline to offer direct flights between Indonesia and India, with a service connecting Jakarta and Mumbai.

Pacific Royale will not have long to establish itself. Indonesia’s most popular airline, Lion Air, plans to launch its own full-service airline, Batik Air, in March 2013.

Pacific Royale launch

Would you like to try Pacific Royale? Please fill in an enquiry.



9 Comments on “Royale With Cheese”

  1. avatar Mas Martin says:

    Thank you, Chris. Do you have any information about the ownership structure of the airline? I think this would be not the first, not the last airline to enter the market with low profile, but having big plans… How long it takes to grow from Kerinci- Jambi route to Jakarta- Mumbai… Sedikit bingung… Anyway, what are current regulations for entering the market? In the past, the government was trying to limit the competition of the small airlines with proposals of “minimum number of airplanes”, “minimum age of the plane”, atc. I admit it is not that important from the passenger’s point of view, except that one should expect almost constant changes, especially in these “minor routes”. I would like to know, for example, about Merpati decline. Do they still fly some routes in the east? Last time I flew with them back in 2006, was Ternate- Makassar and Bandaneira – Ambon. I assume they probably withdrew from these routes, especially the latter “pioneer” one …

  2. avatar Chris says:

    Hi Mas Martin,

    You asked:

    Do you have any information about the ownership structure of the airline?

    According to this source:

    Pacific Royale is owned by Gunarni Gunawan, with a 51 percent, and Indian investor Tarun Trika, with a 49 percent stake.

    Anyway, what are current regulations for entering the market? In the past, the government was trying to limit the competition of the small airlines with proposals of “minimum number of airplanes”, “minimum age of the plane”, atc.

    Since January, Indonesian airlines have to have at least 10 planes. However, new airlines have a year from commencing operations to build up their fleet to the minimum number. The resurrected Mandala Air also has less than 10 planes currently.

    I would like to know, for example, about Merpati decline. Do they still fly some routes in the east?

    Yes, but not as many as they used to. They still do some pioneer routes, but not to Bandaneira. Nusantara Buana Air (a.k.a. NBA) used to fly to Bandaneira, but had their licence to operate revoked after two crashes in Sumatra. You can look up Merpati’s current timetable on the Merpati Airlines website. Wings Air has a lot of flights from/around Maluku, while Express Air has many flights in Eastern Indonesia.

  3. avatar Luke says:

    Isn’t NBA flying again? I don’t know about the Bandaneira route, but there are (or at least recently were…things are never consistent) flights between Kerinci and Padang with NBA. Tuesdays at 8:30 am from Padang. I saw the plane landing in Kerinci just a few weeks ago.

    Also, Pacific Royale plans on flying 4 times a week Jambi-Kerinci-Padang and back. Seems like they’re setting themselves up for failure, especially with starting prices at 423k between PDG and KRC and 500k between DJB and KRC. There have been two other recent airlines that have done the same and failed (in 2010 Riau Airline and last year Sky Aviation), and both of those were somewhat government subsidized even. It think they need to use smaller planes or lower the price so that they can fill up their cockpit more. Sky Aviation’s Fokker 50 that I took in October from Kerinci to Jambi wasn’t even a fourth full. Although, that flight didn’t connect with Padang, so maybe (hopefully) that will improve the passenger count and we’ll finally have consistent flights in and out of Kerinci.

  4. avatar Luke says:

    Also, if anyone’s interested in the routes/times/prices, here they are from Pacific Royale’s Facebook page (as an aside, they have quite the enthusiastic social media employee).
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/pacific-royale-airways/pacific-royale-airways-flight-schedule/376120235784930

  5. avatar Chris says:

    Thanks Luke,

    Seems like they’re setting themselves up for failure, especially with starting prices at 423k between PDG and KRC and 500k between DJB and KRC.

    Pacific Royale is a full-service airline, so it will be more expensive than their more budget-oriented competitors. The real question is this: Will people be willing to pay more for the extra service/comfort?

    (as an aside, they have quite the enthusiastic social media employee).

    Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but in my opinion it’s a bit weird that Pacific Royale put its flight/fare/contact details on its Facebook page, while on their official website there is still bugger all.

  6. avatar Luke says:

    Yeah, I think having full service for a 30-45 minute flight is a tad silly, especially when there’s no competition on these routes! And folks in Kerinci don’t exactly have the most disposable income, so it’s a little confusing to me why they think this will work 4x a week when cheaper, 3x a week flights failed in the past. I do hope with all my heart it stays (*really* tired of the vomit-inducing 8 hour drive to Padang/12 hours to Jambi), but I won’t be surprised at all if it doesn’t last :(

  7. avatar Chris says:

    Is Pacific Royale Airways still operating?

    It’s website says:

    We are hiring!

    Its Facebook page has lots of recent status updates, but no schedule.

    But yesterday at Surabaya Airport, I saw its plane was parked in the same place in the morning and evening, a long way from any passengers. Considering Pacific Royale only has two planes at the moment (and they have to increase that to 10 within a year), that does not augur well.

  8. avatar Luke says:

    They’ve already stopped all flights coming/going through Kerinci, just as predicted! *sigh*

    I think they’re still operating elsewhere, but I’m not sure.

  9. avatar Chris says:

    Is Pacific Royale Airways still operating?

    The Jakarta Post provided an answer today:

    Fledgling carrier Pacific Royale temporarily grounds flights

    New domestic full-service carrier Pacific Royale Airways, which made its debut in June this year, has announced that it would temporarily be halting its operations…the company had stopped operations early in October…He emphasized, however, that financial difficulties were not behind the halt.

    “No, it is not [financial problems]. It is more to do with the fact that we are facing a dearth of crew members and pilots. In addition, we do not fly routes that carry a lot of passengers as we intend to create a new market in the [aviation] industry,” he said.

    Source

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