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Just Beyond Bali: Banyuwangi

AirAsia Executives Visit Banyuwangi to Survey Possibility of Including Destination in their International Route Network
The low-cost airline AirAsia is eying the opportunity of helping the East Java destination of Banyuwangi develop as a tourism destination.

Travel.detik.com reports that CEO of AirAsia,Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, recently paid a visit to Banyuwangi to view the Blimbingsari Airport, the tourism potential of the destination and meet with local officials.

Meranun was accompanied on his visit by the CEO of AirAsia Indonesia Dendi Kurniawan.

“I was surprised to see Banyuwangi. There’s great potential. There are 77 tourism attractions open throughout the year and the tourism destination is interesting. I appreciate all the efforts to develop the area. We looking at doing business in Banyuwangi,” said Meranun in Banyuwangi on Thursday, April 19, 2018.

Datuk Kamarudin explained that his visit to Banyuwangi was at the invitation of Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. Adding: “Indeed, I came here (Banyuwangi) after meeting Pak Luhut (and discussing) the development of new tourism destination beyond Bali and Jakarta. My visit today is to survey Banyuwangi and its airport.”

He commented further that AirAsia is considering an opportunity to establish new international routes to Banyuwangi. Datuk Kamarudin continued: “We will send a follow-up team to discuss the development of the Banyuwangi Airport. If the infrastructure is ready with an international airport, we are ready to fly Kuala Lumpur-Banyuwangi. We want to carry tourists from Australia and China because Kuala Lumpur is the largest hub of AirAsia.

The Regent of Banyuwangi Abdullah Azwar Anas expressed his appreciation of AirAsia’s plans to expand their network to include Banyuwangi. Anas stated that the people of Banyuwangi are committed to develop tourism in the areas. At the same time, the Government also plans to build a train factory in Banyuwangi to complement an existing sugar factory and an international marina.

Meanwhile, the general manager of Angkasa Pura II in Banyuwangi – the company that manages the Blimbingsari Airport, Anton Martalius, said the airport was developing rapidly. In 2017 a total of 188,949 passengers used the Banyuwangi air gateway, an increase of 67% over the 113,153 who flew through the airport in 2016.

This dynamic rate of passenger growth looks set to continue with passenger traffic in the first three months of 2018 up 143% when compared to the same period in 2017.

The airport’s aprons are being expanded to cover a total area of 18,000 square meters and the runway’s thickness enhanced in order to provide overload parking for VIP aircraft expected to visit Bali for the October International Monetary Fund – World Bank conference in Bali.

When completed, the runway will have sufficient certified strength to handle AirAisa’s Airbus A-320 aircraft.

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