Low cost carrier AirAsia Indonesia piloted its maiden flight to take Indonesian travelers to visit Macao on Monday.
“I hope this route will open up [air connectivity] for foreign visitors, not only for those from Macau, but also from Greater China,” AirAsia Indonesia Group CEO Dendy Kurniawan said during the launch of the route.
While AirAsia will fly three times a week from Macau to Jakarta with an Airbus A320 this month, the flight frequency will be increased to four times a week starting from Sept. 1.
The government expects to welcome 2.1 million Chinese tourists from a total of 15 million international tourists targeted for this year.
Chinese tourists have topped the list of foreign arrivals for the past two years, boosted by the expansion of direct flights and charter flights between Chinese cities and Indonesian cities like Jakarta and Denpasar.
From January to June alone, the number of Chinese visitors rose by 45 percent year-on-year to 996,574 visitors, according to the Tourism Ministry.
Last year, Chinese tourists totaled 1.43 million out of 11.5 million overall inbound tourists.
AirAsia made the highest contribution of all airlines to the number of international tourists flown to Indonesia, bringing in 25 percent of the total figure, the ministry has revealed.
The carrier has maintained its goal to drive passenger growth from international routes, which now make up more than half of its whole services in Indonesia. It will focus on connecting Indonesia with India and China this year.
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