TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Batam's Hang Nadim Airport management says that it is struggling to develop international flight services because many airlines prefer to operate at Singapore’s Changi Airport.
“As of now, almost all international flight services are being run at Singapore’s Changi; that’s why Hang Nadim has seen a small number of international flights,” Suwarso said Sunday in Batam.
Aside from the close proximity between Changi and Hang Nadim, according to Suwarso, Singapore also has a strong standing in the aviation industry that enables it to become a major aviation hub.
“Actually, there are aspects to be taken into account to develop international flight services in Hang Nadim. All parties have to meet and discuss them,” he said.
Hang Nadim Airport only serves an international flight route between Batam and Kuala Lumpur, which is operated by Malindo Air. It also serves cargo traffic to Singapore.
“The government’s role is needed if Indonesia, including Hang Nadim, wants to become an international aviation hub. It cannot be done by Hang Nadim alone,” Suwarso said.
Hang Nadim Airport currently serves 144 scheduled flights. Meanwhile, Singapore’s Changi serves 1,400 daily flights, most of which are international flights.
Batam Authority Agency (BP Batam) as the owner of Hang Nadim Airport is, among others, seeking to cooperate with foreign operators who could also attract foreign airlines to operate in Batam.
“BP Batam is exploring opportunities to cooperate with Mitsui of Japan. The company is interested in developing Hang Nadim, including turning it into an international hub,” Suwarso said.