Sarawak Anticipates More Flights Once Indonesia’s Capital Relocated

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KUCHING: The relocation of Indonesian capital city from Jakarta to Kalimantan, may open up more international direct flight into the state, and subsequently increase tourist arrivals.

Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting said the state government was hoping that with the new development, it would provide the state, the open sky policy that it long hoped for.

“Presently, airlines coming to Malaysia have to go all the way to Kuala Lumpur, first stop of entry to Malaysia, after that only then, they can fly off to Kuching, to Sabah and this, at a cost.

“We are hoping in future they should be direct flights, the open sky policy, more flights and more connectivity, that will be very good for Sarawak,” he told Bernama.

He pointed out similar views during session one of the Sarawak International Business and Economic Summit, here, titled ‘The future of Sarawak – What Next What Lies Ahead’ which was moderated by Bernama Chairman Datuk Seri Azman Ujang, today

In efforts to bring more tourists, Sebastian said the state government was currently working on to get more international chartered flights to the state.

“My minister was looking at November this year to have more airlines from China to fly direct from Shenzen to Kuching.

“As the first step it could stop in Kuching, second town we hope it would be Miri, and then we move on to the other towns,” he said.

Sebastian said the announcement by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to move their capital city to Kalimantan which shares a common border with Sarawak and Sabah, definitely augured well with the state government.

“If you look at another five years, 10 years, 15 years, that place (Indonesia’s new capital) will be developed and we are sharing common border together with Kalimantan and the nearest point is Kapit on the Sarawak side.

“If you look at the connectivity eventually, with that kind of potential this will definitely be so good for Sarawak, the economic spin-off…the kind of activities and the potential of having bigger population when they move to their new capital and from that area, the trade between the two countries would be just marvelous,” he added.