The Jakarta Post
A tourist poses at Ujung Gelam Beach area in Karimunjawa, Jepara, Central Java on Sunday, April 29, 2018. (Antara/Aji Styawan)
Nam Air, a subsidiary of the Sriwijaya Group, has opened a direct flight connecting Semarang's Ahmad Yani International Airport with Dewadaru Airport on Karimunjawa Island, both in Central Java.
Launched on Sunday, the 30-minute flight is served three times a week using the ATR 62-600 twin-engine turboprop and departs from Semarang at 6 a.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Previously, travelers were only able to access the beautiful Central Java island by sea.
"The Jepara regency administration has expanded the runway [of Dewadaru Airport] by up to 400 meters to allow it to serve wide-body aircraft," said Central Java provincial secretary Sri Puryono on Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.
The Jepara administration is hopeful that the new route will boost the economies of Karimunjawa and Central Java, and has called on its residents to support its efforts to expand tourism to the northern part of the regency.
Air transportation director general Agus Santoso at the Transportation Ministry said that Dewadaru Airport was initially designed to serve pioneer flights that catered to the residents of remote regions and the outskirts of Karimunjawa. However, because of the increased number of foreign tourists who used the service, the pioneer flights were later halted.
"This airport was intended [to serve] pioneer flights connecting Karimunjawa with Semarang, Surabaya and Madura Island, as the government felt the need to provide the service to open access to remote and outlying areas," said Agus.
He expressed his hope that Dewadaru Airport would become the entry point for tourism development in Karimunjawa. (kes)