Indonesia needs more airline seats to reach 17m tourists target


Indonesia are striving for 17 million international arrivals in 2018. Source: Farizun Amrod Saad / Shutterstock

INDONESIA is still calling for more airline seats to the paradise archipelago despite cash initiatives handed out by the government to travel operators last year.

Indonesia’s Tourism Ministry last year offered cash as an incentive to charter operators to open new routes to the nation. The incentive ranged from US$15 to US$25 per passenger depending on the origin of the flight and the length of the stay.

However, despite these attempts to increase tourism to the country, the Indonesian government is still funding sales and marketing for airlines to ensure there are enough seats on chartered flights to handle the 17 million international arrivals that Indonesia aims to receive this year.

Currently, Indonesia has an average of four million seats on chartered flights and plans to add an extra 1.1 million over the course of the year.

Recently, Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Arief Yahya spoke to airlines at a roadshow, TTG reported.

Arief announced the ministry’s desires of adding 600,000 seats for routes to Bali, 350 to Jakarta and the rest spread out over other international ports across Indonesia.

“The government is providing incentives to the airlines in the forms of marketing communications, sales missions, travel marts and fairs,” Arief said.

The minister’s calls have been answered by airlines and tour operators already. Angkasa Pura II airport authority announced they would be adding 790,000 seats, increasing landing and take-off slot availabilities. As well as this, the airport also aims to boost service quality by integrating digital services to speed up waiting times.

TTG also quoted Lion Air Group president director Edward Sirait as saying that six new flight routes from China to Indonesia were being finalized.

“Flights between Bali to Busan and Seoul’s Incheon will start in June, while the existing charter services between Batam and Busan, as well as Batam and Incheon, will soon become regular services,” Sirait said.

To reach the 17 million tourists target in 2018, Indonesia is also developing other tourism incentivized plans.

These include creating ten Bali-like destinations across the region to entice more Chinese tourists. The nation is also plowing money into efforts to increase cross-border tourism with nearby nations such as Malaysia and Singapore, and exploring ways to reduce poverty through tourism.