After Lion Air scrapped its free baggage allowance earlier this month, another one of Indonesia’ major low-cost carriers, Citilink, has announced that it will do the same next month.
Citilink, the low cost wing of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, yesterday announced that passengers on all domestic flights will no longer be given 20 kg free baggage allowance for tickets bought after Feb 8. Passengers flying with Citilink after Feb 8 but who have already bought tickets before the date will still be entitled to the 20 kg free baggage allowance.
“The rate will be as cheap as possible. We know there will be tiers like 5 kg, 10 kg, 15 kg, and 20 kg. We have baggage rates starting from IDR9,000 (US$0.64) depending on the distance traveled,” Citilink Commerce Director Benny Rustanto said yesterday, as quoted by Detik, adding that the likely maximum rate per kilogram of baggage would be IDR35,000.
Passengers will still be allowed to take one item of carry-on baggage on board, as long as it doesn’t exceed 7 kg and/or 58cm x 46 cm x 23 cm in dimensions.
Benny said Citilink decided to scrap its free baggage allowance policy was done in order to stay competitive in the domestic aviation industry.
“There are many new ways to generate revenue so we are doing what we must to continue serving customers. This is part of our survival [strategy],” he said.
When Lion Air first announced its new baggage policy, there was considerable backlash not only from customers but also from the government. However, the Ministry of Transportation has since approved Lion Air’s decision to charge for baggage as it doesn’t violate the country’s aviation regulations. That approval is likely to usher in a new era of low-cost carriers charging for baggage.
In a 2017 study, Lion Group, which consists of Lion Air and Wings Air among others, was recorded as having the largest share of the domestic market in the Indonesian aviation industry, accounting for 51% of passengers carried from 2005 to 2017. In terms of individual airlines, Lion Air was the most dominant with 34% — still higher than the combined market share of Garuda Group (33%), which consists of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and its low cost carrier wing Citilink.