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The Need for More Air Access

Indonesian Tourism Minister Wants 2 Million More Airlines Seats in 2017 in Order to Achieve 15 Million Foreign Tourists

(5/14/2017) The Jakarta Globe reports that Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya is calling on airlines flying to Indonesia to urgently increase seat capacity in order to support his target of 15 million foreign tourists for all of 2017.

In calculating the challenge of achieving this total, the Minister estimated Indonesia needs an additional 2 million airline seats before the end of 2017.

Yahya explained that 80% of foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia are by air with the balance by boat of by traveling over land.

Recently Minister Yahya has held meeting with a number of airlines, including Garuda Indonesia, Air Asia, Sriwijaya Air, Lion Air, Thai Lion Air Bangkok and Jetstar Australia to personally urge added capacity to Indonesia. At the same time, he called on the State-owned operator of airports, PT Angkasa Pura and the Ministry of Transportation to facilitate any steps to increase foreign tourism arrivals.

Commenting on the need for Transportation Ministry and Angkasa Pura support, Yahya said: "There will be more seats if airlines serve new routes. On the other hand, airlines can only open new routes if there are available time slots in our airports. That is why air navigation operators must make sure of slot availability."

In the end, however, the Tourism Minister admitted that the decision to add flight frequencies to Indonesia rests with the Airlines who each have their own calculations for determining the viability of new flight routes or increasing capacity on existing routes.

To aid the process, the Ministry is weighing offering cash incentives to airlines and travel agencies that open new destinations in Indonesia.