THE regional government of Jogjakarta has called for the Department of Communications to grant a license to AirAsia, allowing the budget airline to fly between Kuala Lumpur and the Indonesian city.
Jogjakarta regional tourism office director, Mr Tazbir, said: "The Jogjakarta trade together with my office have done a number of road shows and participated in the MATTA Fair in Kuala Lumpur and we have identified a great potential and interest in Jogjakarta from the market, but air connection is a problem.
"AirAsia has long been keen to serve the destination but approval has not been given. Sultan Hamengku Buwono has sent a letter to the Minister of Communications requesting for the route to be opened to the airline."
Commenting on the request, Department of Communications director of air transportation, Mr Tri Suroko told TTG Daily News: "We have received the Sultan's request and understand the desire of the local trade for the direct service. However, we want to give the opportunity to the national carriers first.
"We have sent letters to the Indonesian carriers and given them until September to apply for the licence. If nobody is interested then we will consider AirAsia."
Garuda Indonesia used to serve the route but it stopped the service last year due to poor load factors.
Garuda general manager Jogjakarta, Mr Didi Triatmojo, said: "We found that the route did not need a premium airline like Garuda as most of the passengers were workers, with some tourists - markets which are price sensitive."
Source : TTG
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