Kualanamu Airport should become hub for ASEAN, South Asia: Minister

Of course, the way to the transfer airport must be used as an opportunity by working together with everyone involved

MEDAN, North Sumatra (ANTARA) — Minister of Transport Budi Karya Sumadi is supporting efforts by Kualanamu International Airport, Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, to act as a hub for flights to ASEAN and South Asia for opportunities to increase passenger and cargo traffic to use.

“Of course, it must be seized as an opportunity to become a connecting airport by working with all stakeholders,” Sumadi noted Tuesday at the conclusion of the National Seminar on Kualanamu as an International Connection in ASEAN: Challenges and Lessons from Zoom.

The minister said that since there is some normalcy in the current situation after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the right time for Kualanamu to act as a hub for international flights and this opportunity must be grasped without delay by all stakeholders would be included.

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This measure could contribute to economic growth at both regional and national levels, as several sectors such as tourism would benefit. “If it becomes a connecting airport, it will attract more domestic and international tourists,” Sumadi said.

He opined that Kualanamu International Airport is strategically positioned to connect to the ASEAN and South Asian regions, which could actually be optimized for work.

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“By becoming an international hub, it can increase not only the number of passengers but also the cargo in the Asian region,” he noted.

He expects Angkasa Pura Aviation, as the manager of Kualanamu International Airport, to continue and improve cooperation with all stakeholders in the aviation sector to achieve this goal.

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PT Angkasa Pura Aviation President and Director Ahmad Rifai said the total number of passengers visiting North Sumatra via Kualanamu International Airport has reached 16-18,000 per day and that number is still well below recorded arrivals before the Pandemic limited was around 24,000 to 25,000 passengers per day.

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Rifai noted that this year Kualanamu Airport aimed to offer a direct flight route to one of the countries in South Asia, namely India. He said PT Angkasa Pura Aviation has also been in talks with several airlines to offer direct flights to India.

“The principle is reciprocity. If they are willing to offer direct flights to Kualanamu, then Indonesian airlines will also offer direct flights to India,” he said.

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