Bangka Belitung is famous for its rocky beaches. (Shutterstock/File)
H.A.S. Hanandjoeddin International Airport in Tanjung Pandan, Bangka Belitung, officially welcomed its first international flight on Sunday.
The chartered flight of private carrier Sriwijaya Air departed from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, carrying 188 members of Malindo Business and Culture Centre.
The flight departed at 7:35 a.m. and landed in Tanjung Pandan at 9:50 a.m. The plane later made its return flight the next day, departed at 7:30 a.m. and arrived at 10:30 a.m.
Transportation Ministry’s director general of civil aviation Agus Santoso said this first international flight was expected to attract other airline companies to open new international routes to H.A.S. Hanandjoeddin International Airport.
“This is a positive move and it proves that aviation sector can serve as a driving factor for investment to improve both regional and national economies,” said Agus.
“All priority destinations need to have an international airport, this includes Belitung that is home to Tanjung Kelayang Special Economic Zone (KEK),” said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya.
Currently the airport boasts a 2,225-meter runway with the width of 45 meters. Its terminals reportedly could accommodate up to 20,000 visitors.
In the future, the runway is said to be extended to 2,500 meters to allow Boeing 737-800 planes to land. (kes)