Merauke, 16/4 (Jubi) – Sriwijaya Air is turning its focus on the Papuan market after Merpati stopped flights to the province.
“The number of passengers who travel to Makassar, Surabaya, Jakarta and other cities have increased from time to time,” the Commercial Director of Sriwijaya Air, Toto Nursatyo told to reporters at Mopah Airport, Merauke on Wednesday (16/4).
“Yes, we are now focusing more strongly on flights to Papua. Since the Merpati Airline closed their operations, the number of passengers who use Sriwijaya Air continues to increase from time to time,” he added.
He further said several routes have been opened for Papua including Jayapura, Manokwari, Sorong, Timika and Merauke. “In the future, we will expand to other regions. Now our concern is especially about access from Papua to Makassar, because Makassar is the indicator of the flow of passengers to other cities in Indonesia,” he said.
He said six to seven planes were operating to cover services to those cities. Even now, there is a direct Merauke-Makassar flight without a transit in Jayapura.
“Actually this is a trial. It’s already started and will operate three times a week. Last night we took 74 passengers flying from Makassar to Merauke and flying back to Makassar with 118 passengers. Currently we use 737-500 aircraft with the possibility to change to 737-800 series on the market demand. And it’s possible to operate every day,” he said.
Director of Megatama Travel Agent, Ali Syahbana welcomed the news, saying the management of Sriwijaya Air has made a breakthrough.
“Many people will certainly use the service. Last time the Merpati Airlines flew directly from Merauke to Makassar but the route is closed after they stopped their operation. (Jubi / Frans L Kobun/rom)