The Jakarta Post
Low-cost carrier Indonesia AirAsia has said it would make Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) its new hub as it sees the number of tourist arrivals increasing again following a decline in visitors after the recent earthquakes in the region.
Lombok has been branded as one of the “10 new Balis” by the government in its effort to boost tourist arrivals to the resort along with Lake Toba in Sumatra and Labuan Bajo, which is close to Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara and Tanjung Lesung in Banten.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said he would help accelerate post-earthquake recovery efforts to support the people in NTB, especially in Lombok.
“Last year was a year of challenges for the locals, including for players in the tourism industry as [the infrastructure] was devastated by the earthquake. We hope that our steps can help,” he said in a statement on Saturday.
Tony said that in the next few months his company would collaborate with the airport and local authorities to make Lombok its newest hub in Indonesia.
AirAsia plans to operate two Airbus A320 aircraft and increase the flight frequency from Kuala Lumpur to Lombok to twice a day.
AirAsia Indonesia CEO Dendy Kurniawan said Lombok was one of the classy destinations in Southeast Asia and AirAsia was ready to promote the resort in the cities to which the airline had opened flights.
“Lombok has a lot of potential, which makes it an ideal destination. […] We believe we can increase tourist demand to Lombok,” he said.
AirAsia opened the Kuala Lumpur-Lombok route in October 2012, with seven flights operating each week. (das/bbn)