TEMPO.CO, Lombok - State-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I Lombok International Airport general manager I Gusti Ngurah Ardita said that the company is exploring opportunities to open Lombok-Jeddah route. The aim is to facilitate hajj pilgrims to fly to Saudi Arabia.
“We are now collecting data to assist the airlines,” Ardita said at Lombok International Airport, West Nusa Tenggara, April 20, 2017.
Ardita said that Lombok serves 5,000 pilgrims in a single umrah period. At present, the company is validating the data with several airlines, such as Lion Air and Garuda Indonesia.
According to Ardita, the talks with the airlines are running well. If an agreement is reached, Garuda and Lion Air will serve umrah flights from Lombok.
Ardita said that Garuda plans to open Lombok-Surabaya-Jeddah route, whereas Lion Air will open Lombok-Solo-Jeddah. “To optimize Lombok’s umrah potential.”
Ngurah Ardita added that volume of hajj passenger traffic in Lombok is quite high at an average of 11 flight groups. The figure covers the period between 2012 and 2016.