TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia president director Irfan Sebuahutra has announced that his company will open direct flight routes from major countries to Indonesia. This decision is aimed at attracting foreign exchange earnings from foreign tourists’ visits.
“Discussions emerge that Garuda is asked to fly directly to cities like Paris, then other countries such as the US, Europe, and India. So based on data, [we will add flights to destinations] that have a lot of schedules,” said Irfan in a virtual discussion on Friday, June 19.
Irfan explained that his company had communicated with the Tourism Minister and the Transportation Minister as this policy was in line with the government’s goals to boost foreign exchange earnings in the tourism sector.
According to Irfan, transit flights would cause travelers to spend more in transit countries. He then mentioned about tourists from Paris who wished to go to Bali but must transit in Bangkok.
He explained the shopping budgets of tourists in Bali will therefore shrink because they had spent some in Thailand’s capital city. Thus, Indonesia's earnings will not be optimal. “So if we plan to open a new flight route, we will focus on, for example,[flights] from Paris to Denpasar directly,” he added.
However, Irfan mentioned that Garuda Indonesia's plan must be supported by the government’s scheme of passenger service obligation (PSO). “We are discussing whether it is possible for the flights to be subsidized by the government,” he said.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA