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PT Jasa Angkasa Semesta (JAS) | Mr Adji Gunawan
Mr Adji Gunawan

With ASEAN’s Open Skies Policy soon to boost air connectivity in the region, it is important that we are prepared for an influx of commercial flights at each of our airports

Mr Adji Gunawan, Chief Executive Officer

Established in 1984, Jasa Angkasa Semesta is the leading ground handling service provider in Indonesia and currently serves over 30 airlines in airports located across the country. Please present the company to the GBG Indonesia audience as well as elaborate upon its strategies going forward.

We formally began our ground handling services in 1985, when Indonesia moved its primary airport operations from Halim to the Soekarno Hatta Airport in Cengkareng. When we first entered the industry, we served a handful of main clients including three companies we continue to work with today – Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific – and specialised in terminal, ramp and cargo handling related services. These types of airport services remain central to our business today. Our company now has a client base of 35 international airlines and 7 domestic airlines as well as several charter businesses. Our human resources have grown to approximately 2,600 employees and we currently operate out of 12 airports in Indonesia having recently made our services available in Lombok.

The company also operates airport lounges in Jakarta as well as Denpasar at the new international terminal. For our two lounges in Soekarna Hatta, Jakarta we have received several awards for the quality of the lounges we operate and will soon start lounge operations for domestic passengers.

As the next stage in the company’s expansion, we now own and manage warehouses in five airports – Soekarno Hatta, Halim, Surabaya, Denpasar and Medan. Our success in being able to attract the largest commercial airlines, including those from the Middle East, can be attributed to our commitment to adhering to strict international standards such as those mandated by the IATA Safety Audit Program for Ground Operations (ISAGO). At present three of our airport operations have already received ISAGO certification and three more will attain this accreditation in 2014. This initiative is part of our broader strategy to make sure that international airlines can land at any port of entry in Indonesia and receive high quality ground handling services. With ASEAN’s Open Skies Policy soon to boost air connectivity in the region, it is important that we are prepared for an influx of commercial flights at each of our airports.

How ready is Jasa Angkasa Semesta for the Open Skies Policy, scheduled for implementation in 2015?

We have sufficient manpower due in large part to the JAS Academy where we recruit and train new employees. The JAS Academy trains human resources in order to provide us with a continuous pool of talent to serve the industry. Recruits are from all over Indonesia and we have graduated three batches in Jakarta as well as two batches in Bali.

Our company also has sufficient equipment to meet rising activity in Indonesia’s airports. It is my expectation that a potential hindrance will be the lack of infrastructure provided by the government. For example, while our airports have runways capable of accommodating 737-800 planes, they do not have terminals ready to handle 140 passengers boarding or disembarking at the same time. Moreover, we have runways of over 1200 meters in length that are made less useful by the absence of sufficient taxiways, as is the case in Yogyakarta. Indonesia has over 300 airports but only about 30 are ready to successfully accommodate modern aircrafts such as jets.

What is your outlook for the ground handling industry?

Our company is capable of turning an aircraft around in 30 minutes, as is required by most LCC operators.

It is our belief that Indonesia’s rising purchasing power and consumption will make this facet of our performance all the more important given that airports are likely to be busier in the near future. In short, we expect that the growth of Indonesia’s commercial aviation industry will translate into more flights, more passengers and more cargo to handle.

Revisions to the negative investment list have opened up the airport management industry to allow for 49% foreign ownership. What are your thoughts on this and in which areas do you think foreign investors can best contribute to the industry?

A positive aspect of foreign involvement in airport management is that in addition to capital they bring considerable experience. Heathrow Airport in London only has two runways but can handle up to 138 movements per hour, whereas our two runway airports can only handle up to 78. Gatwick Airport has a single runway and can operate at an extremely efficient peak capacity of around 60 movements per hour. Expertise related to techniques used to address traffic issues and optimise operations is extremely useful to us.

Capital brought in by foreign investors can also speed up the development of airports to be built in the east as well as in Bandung. In my opinion, we need to get foreign investors in as early as possible so that these airports will be ready faster.

We are particularly interested in the terminal management side whereby we can use our expertise in ground handling and lounge management to transition to handling the operations across an entire terminal. Cooperation with a partner who has experience in terminal management and airport management efficiency would be of the most interest to PT JAS at the moment.

How is your company positioned towards working with foreign companies and partners?

With over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is the world’s most air dependent economy. Frequent transport of cargo and people from island to island necessitates the development of infrastructure to facilitate air travel. Foreign investors thus have the potential to play a significant role in investing in new airports, but this is contingent upon the government making available new projects.

Our company is open to cooperation with foreign companies, and we are primarily interested in working with partners that have a comprehensive network and can bring in new business opportunities. We have a wealth of experience in working with international entities and it is not uncommon for us to be audited 70 times a year, with each of our clients carrying out this process twice every year. We are thus well suited to forming strong partnerships that emphasise transparency and honesty at all times. Without this type of collaboration, foreign firms can find it difficult to navigate Indonesia’s complex bureaucratic system.

What would you like our readers to remember about Indonesia and PT JAS as a final message?

The potential of the Indonesian market for commercial aviation should not be overlooked. In a country with a population of over 240 million people, only about 60 million fly on an annual basis; a market penetration of approximately 25%. The market therefore has scope to grow, and there is room for more airports, flights and supporting businesses to enter.

Global Business Guide Indonesia - 2014

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