TEMPO.CO, Mataram - South Korean airlines Korean Air, Jin Air and Hanjin Travel are exploring opportunities to open direct flights from Incheon to Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) official Lalu Gita Ariyadi said.
Gita told Bisnis.com that the airlines are very serious about the plan. Jin Air Vice President Kwang Ho Ko, Sales Manager Min Goo Kang, Korean Air Deputy GM Sang Hoon Yoo, Hanjin Travel Vice President Hong Jae Lim and their entourage have met with NTB Deputy Governor to express their interest in launching low-cost carrier services, which will be initiated by carter flights before introducing scheduled flights.
NTB Deputy Governor Muhammad Amin has welcomed the plan. He has told local officials to monitor and facilitate the planned direct flights.
“If possible, in 2017, Korean Air or Jin Air should already land in LIA [Lombok International Airport]; that’s the Deputy Governor instruction,” Gita said.
Meanwhile, state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura I/Lombok International Airport general manager I Gusti Ngurah Ardita is very enthusiastic about the plan.
Ngurah has invited the Korean airlines to visit the airport and inspect its terminal, apron, taxiway, runway, etc. and hear the plans for developing the airport.
The Association of Tours and Travel Agencies (Asita) NTB chairman Umbu Dewanto said that following intense communication between the association and Hanjin Travel, charter flight services may be initiated to pitch NTB tourism and investment potential to Korean people and investors.
Direct flights between Incheon and Lombok are expected to help improve foreign tourist arrivals in NTB.