KUCHING: Indonesian low cost airline Xpress Air made its inaugural flight to Kuching International Airport (KIA) yesterday landing at 1.30pm.
Assistant Minister of Tourism Sarawak (Local Event and Products) Datuk Gramong Juna said Xpress Air would help improve the state’s connectivity by increasing travel options for both premium and budget travellers.
“This is good for the tourism industry for both Sarawak and Indonesia,” he told a press conference after welcoming Xpress Air passengers on the flight from Jogjakarta via Pointianak.
“Such flight availability will increase connectivity between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore via Kuching and then to various destinations in Indonesia.”
He said visitors to Sarawak last year increased by 7.2 per cent to 4.07 million tourist arrivals compared to 2011. Foreign arrivals also increased last year by 12.4 per cent to 2.6 million.
From January to June this year, total visitor arrivals from Indonesia to the state increased by 15.6 per cent compared to the first half of last year.
The Xpress Air flight from Pontianak to Kuching departs at 12pm while the Kuching to Pontianak flight takes off at 2pm every Friday and Sunday.
Currently the all-in promotional fare is RM168 from Kuching to Pontianak. Xpress Air president and director Henny Kurniawan said this international route is a big step for the airline and would not have been possible without the support of the Sarawak government.
“We realise that transportation plays an important role in strengthening bilateral relationships and not the flight itself but more towards emerging business, education, medical and also culture,” she said.
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