Macau, China, cityscape at the resorts. (Shutterstock/File)
On August 7, at exactly 12:20 p.m., AirAsia Indonesia officially launched its direct flight from Macau to Jakarta on Monday.
In the maiden flight, the carrier brought 150 passengers on a 180-seat Airbus A320-200 with flight number QZ161. The same plane with flight number QZ650 previously carried 162 passengers to Macau International Airport.
Arriving at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, the passengers were welcomed with a water salute and performance of Betawi traditional dance.
Read also: AirAsia eyes Chinese tourists from Macau
“Congratulations on the launch of the new route. We’ll keep on supporting AirAsia to develop routes and flight slots for international flights since it’s in line with our vision and mission to improve the nation’s economy through tourism,” said Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi.
Budi said the ministry had requested state-owned airport operators Angkasa Pura (AP) I and AP II to provide incentive in the form of price cut for landing fee and Passenger Service Charge (PSC).
“This direct flight is the 5th route after Penang, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur that depart from Jakarta. It's the only direct flight [from Jakarta] to Macau,” said AirAsia Group CEO for Indonesia, Dendy Kurniawan.
AirAsia previously launched international routes from Denpasar in Bali to Mumbai, India and Tokyo, Japan.
The airline currently serves Jakarta-Macau route three times a week, but will increase the frequency to four times a week in September.
“AirAsia has contributed 25 percent from the overall number of foreign tourists who came to Indonesia in 2016. This direct route will add more connectivity from Indonesia to cities in South China, which means more arrival of Chinese tourists,” said Tourism Ministry's deputy minister for Overseas Promotion, I Gde Pitana.
Macau is China's youngest region that is located in the south coast of China and adjacent to Guangdong province. In the past, the region was colonized by the Portuguese until 1999.
Macau is known for its historical buildings, high-end fashion boutiques and five-star hotels and resorts. Some of the historical sites in Macau are Old Town, A-Ma Temple and the Ruins of St. Paul's.
The region also serves as the main gate to China for Indonesian tourists where they can travel to 10 cities in the southern part of China using Express Link service that only takes two hours or travel by land and pass through two border posts that stand in between Macau and South China. (kes)