The East Java city of Malang will soon have a direct air connection to Bali, according to a report published in the Indonesian language Bisnis Indonesia.
Pending the issuance of a final approval letter from the Indonesian Air Force who control the airport serving Malang, Mandala Airlines plan to offer direct flights from Malang to Bali as well as flights between Malang and Jakarta.
According to Purnadi, the Head of the Communication and Tourism Office in Malang: "Mandala Airlines is prepared to go. They’re only waiting for the letter of recommendation from the Headquarters of the Air Force."
Sources have reported that obtaining the needed recommendation from the Air Force may be complicated by the current condition of the Abdul Saleh Airport in Malang which lacks an instrument landing system (ILS) limiting flights to Visual Flight Rule (VFR) operations during daylight hours. The estimated cost of repairing the ILS in Malang is Rp. 1 billion (US$108,700) and is only scheduled for disbursement in the next State budget.
Until repairs are completed on the ILS system all flights in and out of the airport must be completed before 5 p.m. local time.
Malang is a cool resort community in the highlands south of Surabaya known for its clean city, resort hotels and villas, and relatively easy access to the tourist location of Mt. Bromo.
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