Govt Demands Discounted Airfare amid Coronavirus Crisis

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Laila Afifa

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  • Passengers wearing medical masks walk as they arrive at international arrival terminal of I Gusti Ngurah Rai airport following an outbreak of the new coronavirus in China, in Bali, Indonesia, February 4, 2020. Picture taken February 4, 2020. The main tourist destination, the holiday island of Bali, had already seen around 10,000 cancellations by the end of last month, according to the Bali Tourism Board. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo

    Passengers wearing medical masks walk as they arrive at international arrival terminal of I Gusti Ngurah Rai airport following an outbreak of the new coronavirus in China, in Bali, Indonesia, February 4, 2020. Picture taken February 4, 2020. The main tourist destination, the holiday island of Bali, had already seen around 10,000 cancellations by the end of last month, according to the Bali Tourism Board. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaTransportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi called on national airlines to provide special ticket prices for domestic flights in a bid to improve the growth of the tourist visit following the coronavirus outbreak.

    “I have talked to Indonesian carriers to offer special prices for three destinations, namely Bali, North Sulawesi, and Riau Island,” said Budi Karya in his office, Friday, February 7.

    Budi Karya explained he had discussed the policy with domestic airlines and Tourism Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio on Thursday, February 6.

    Minister Wishnutama, meanwhile, said the number of tourist visits to Bali, Bintan of Riau Island, and Manado of North Sulawesi was declining after the temporary closure of flights from and to China in the wake of the 2019-nCoV virus that first emerged in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

    According to the Wishnutama, not a single tourist from China was recorded to enter the three destinations that were used to be Chinese tourists’ favorite sites.

    Tourism Minister underlined his ministry would seek a strategy to boost the domestic market, adding that the government possibly opens a partnership with foreign airlines besides the East Asian country.

    Earlier on Wednesday, February 5, flag carrier Garuda Indonesia president director Iran Setiaputra said his side was mulling to divert flight routes from and to China to Indonesian potential destinations.

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA