KUCHING: There will soon be an increase in Malaysia-Indonesia flights in response to the sharp increase of arrivals from Indonesia, said Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
He shared that Malaysia welcomed 247,889 and 222,923 visitors from Indonesia respectively in January and February this year — a significant increase compared to the 1,714 and 1,756 arrivals in the same period last year.
“The government expects that the total number of arrivals will exceed the 1.48 million recorded in 2022, but the current number of flights cannot cope yet with this increasing visitor volume trend.
“We will strive to open more routes and flight frequencies to meet the growing market demand,” he said in a Facebook post.
Tiong pointed out that the number of Indonesian tourist arrivals in the first two months of 2023 has already reached 470,812 while the total number of tourist arrivals from Indonesia reached 1.48 million for the whole of last year.
“This clearly indicates that Malaysia and Indonesia’s tourism sector is recovering well. As of April this year, Indonesia has reopened 12 entry points with 482 weekly flights between the two countries, totalling 83,276 seats.
“However, this is still only 70.2 per cent compared to the pre-pandemic period when there were 685 weekly flights in February 2020,” he said.
The minister also noted that AirAsia is starting its twiceweekly Kertajati-KL fl ight on May 17 and will soon add the Jakarta-Kuching route which flies three times a week.
Anticipating these flights will bring in more tourists from Indonesia, he said he has requested the Indonesian office of the Malaysian Tourism Board to ramp up engagement with the Indonesian government and their tourism counterparts to increase direct flights with Malaysian states to meet market demand.
“We are committed to increasing the number of flights between our two countries, especially during the peak holiday period. This will greatly stimulate our mutual tourism industry and promote economic development — all while building stronger links between our people.
“We will continue to cooperate closely with the Indonesian government to jointly promote tourism development for the benefit of the economy and people of Malaysia and Indonesia,” he added.
The Borneo Post