TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Malaysia’s budget airline Air Asia is eyeing to set Lombok International Airport (LIA) in West Nusa Tenggara as its airline hub for the domestic and international flight. The corporate will open two new international routes, such as Singapore-Lombok and Perth-Lombok to actualize the plan, said Air Asia Indonesia president director Dendy Kurniawan.
“We will prepare two stand-by aircraft in LIA in early March,” said Dendy in the Economic Special Zone (KEK) of Mandalika, Central Lombok, Thursday, January 17.
Dendy said the new route is part of efforts carried out by the low-cost carrier to promote Lombok tourism and accelerate the recovery process post the devastating disaster. However, he mentioned that the company still requires government's support, including flight slots, promotion support, and facility procurement in LIA.
“We also need several permits from the Governor related to flight schedules,” he added.
Currently, Air Asia has five airline hubs throughout Indonesia. West Nusa Tenggara Governor Zulkieflimansyah pinned hope Lombok as an airline hub will generate positive impacts for the region considering it broadens the access of tourism destinations and has a potential to increase foreign tourist arrival.
SUPRIYANTHO KHAFID (CONTRIBUTOR)