Padang Pariaman, West Sumatra (ANTARA) – International flights serving the Padang-Kuala Lumpur route and vice versa are scheduled to resume at Minangkabau International Airport (BIM) from October 1, 2022 after being suspended due to the COVID-19 Pandemic suspended for two years.
“Flights are operated by Air Asia twice a week, every Tuesday and Saturday,” the executive general manager of state-owned Minangkabau International Airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II said here on Sunday.
He is optimistic that the reopening of this route will boost West Sumatra’s economy and tourism industries.
“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Padang-Kuala Lumpur route was the only international flight door to BIM,” he said.
Prior to the pandemic, aircraft seat utilization had reached at least 80 percent on every flight with a twice-daily frequency.
He also thanked the West Sumatra Provincial Government and all parties who had worked together to push for the reopening of international air routes.
Before the reopening of flights, Angkasa Pura II conducted simulations together with relevant stakeholders to prepare the maximum service for airport service users.
“In the simulation, all elements worked together to ensure that all aspects were ready and met the established standards and conditions,” he said.
Based on a search of an online ticket provider’s website on Sunday, the price of air tickets from Padang to Kuala Lumpur starts at 800,000 rupees each way.
West Sumatra Transport Office head Heri Nofiardi had previously said that the coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investments had allowed BIM to resume international flights in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Permission to resume flights was provided by the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, while technical approval was given by the Ministry of Transport.
West Sumatra Governor Mahyeldi met with Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Panjaitan in early June 2022 to discuss reopening the airport for international flights.
Based on data from Indonesian Statistics (BPS) of West Sumatra, 61,131 foreign tourists visited West Sumatra in 2019, and 46,730 of them were from Malaysia.
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