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Jakarta Post

Lombok airport gears up to attract more tourists

  • Winny Tang

    The Jakarta Post

Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara   /   Thu, April 20, 2017   /   03:43 pm
Lombok airport gears up to attract more tourists People queue at check-in counters at Lombok International Airport in West Nusa Tenggara. (Antara/Ahmad Subaidi)

After ending up in the red last year, state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura I (AP I), which manages Lombok International Airport, aims to book Rp 3.5 billion (US$262,500) in revenue in 2017 through vast expansion projects in a bid to attract more tourists.

The airport operator has set aside Rp 205 billion between 2016 and 2017 to improve the airport’s infrastructure, including an expansion of the apron, the construction of more gardens and airport lounges.

“We have a great opportunity to expand, as we have 553 hectares of land: twice as much as Bali [airport],” AP I Lombok general manager I Gusti Ngurah Ardita said on Thursday, adding that the airport only used 50 percent of the available land at present.

(Read also: Indonesia offers Lombok airport to Australia)

AP I hopes to convince Royal Brunei Airlines to open an international route to Lombok from Brunei, as well as Jetstar from Australia. At present, Lombok’s only international connections are to Singapore and Malaysia.

The number of passengers flying to Lombok increased by 34 percent to 3.4 million last year. In 2017, AP I expects the number of passengers to climb to 3.6 million.

Lombok airport serves eight airlines, namely Garuda Indonesia, Citilink Indonesia, Lion Air, Batik Air, Wings Air, Air Asia, Travira Air and Silk Air. (bbn)