Mataram (Antaranews NTB) – The West Nusa Tenggara Provincial Government has collaborated with AirAsia to open Perth, Australia flight routes to Lombok starting February 2019.
NTB Governor H Zulkieflimansyah in Mataram on Friday said the opening of the Perth-Lombok direct flight was to increase the number of foreign tourist visits to tourist destinations on the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa.
“NTB tourism will be more stretched after the earthquake, if the new direct flight route can be realized. Likewise the addition of flight frequencies to and from Lombok International Airport from a number of cities abroad and domestic. We have promoted to restore tourist awareness that Lombok and Sumbawa is safe to visit, “he said.
He said that the AirAsia airline will fly aircraft with a capacity of 180 people through Perth-Lombok. Although he said, to fulfill the route the government compensated AirAsia airlines.
“Because this is a business, there must be a profit. They ask for guarantees. It’s called” block seat “half of the seats are borne by the regional government. How big is that, the value is big,” explained Doctor Zul.
According to him, even though it must be borne by the Regional Government, the funding for the “block seat” will be funded by the Ministry of Tourism. Meanwhile, for the period of “block seat” compensation, Zulkieflimansyah continued, for six months. However, the compensation will be seen again if the number of passengers shows an increase and is stable.
“We are fortunate, the costs are not borne by the Regional Government but the Ministry of Tourism. They have funds for new routes and want to establish NTB, especially Lombok to become a national superior destination. So it is not a local or NTB project but this is national,” he explained.
In addition to the airline AirAsia, the NTB Provincial Government also cooperates with the national airline Lion Air to realize direct flights from Guangzhou, China – Lombok and Lombok – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Including, for domestic routes, Lion Air and Wings Air are ready to open direct routes Lombok – Labuan Bajo, NTT and Bima – Labuan Bajo.
“The potential of tourists from China is very large and they are ready to leave. The mechanism so far is the charter flight model from several cities in China to Lombok. It takes more effort to realize Lion Air flights from China to Lombok. We are still formulating the most ideal but realistic with Lion Air, “he said. (*)