The West Nusa Tenggara Provincial Government is collaborating with AirAsia to open Perth to Lombok flights starting February 2019. NTB Governor H Zulkieflimansyah in Mataram, Friday (11/23/2018), said the opening of the Perth-Lombok direct flight was to increase the number of foreign tourist visits to tourist destinations on the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa.
The addition of flight frequencies to and from Lombok International Airport from a number of cities abroad and domestic is part of the national strategy aimed at increasing tourism level in Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB), as well as increasing the level of awareness regarding Lombok and the Mandalika.
The Governor of NTB said that AirAsia would fly a plane with a capacity of 180 people serving the Perth-Lombok route. Although he said, to fulfill the route the government will be compensating AirAsia airlines. According to him, even though it must be borne by the Regional Government, the funding for the “block seat” will be instead funded by the Ministry of Tourism. Meanwhile, the period of “block seat” compensation has been agreed for a six months period, Zulkieflimansyah continued. However, the compensation will be re-negotiate again if the number of passengers shows an increase and is stable.
“We are fortunate, the cost is not borne by the Regional Government but the Ministry of Tourism. They have funds for new routes and want to establish NTB, especially Lombok to become a national superior destination. So it does not put local or NTB projects under financial constraints but rather national financing,” he explained to the media.
In addition to the airline AirAsia, the NTB Provincial Government also cooperates with the national airline Lion Air to realize direct flights from Guangzhou, China to Lombok and Lombok to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Including, for domestic routes, Lion Air and Wings Air are ready to open direct routes Lombok – Labuan Bajo, NTT and Bima – Labuan Bajo.
“The potential of tourists from China is very large and they are already travellers that spend considerable amount. The mechanism so far is the charter flight model from several cities in China to Lombok. It takes more effort to realize Lion Air flights from China to Lombok. We are still formulating the most ideal but realistic offer with Lion Air, “he said.