Asian budget carrier Jetstar Airways is to launch a new direct link between Perth and Lombok in Indonesia, the first scheduled air service between Australia and the emerging tourism destination located within the Lesser Sunda Islands across the Lombok Strait from Bali to the west and the Alas Strait from Sumbawa to the east. The low-cost carrier will introduce a four times weekly operation from September 24, 2013, subject to government and regulatory approval.
Lombok has much in common with nearby Bali, but less well-known and less-visited by foreigners. It has been working to increase its visibility to tourists in recent years, promoting itself as an ‘unspoiled Bali’.
It is home to some stunning beaches and volcanoes across a varied landscape and is developing as a popular location for those looking for a private holiday away from the hustle and bustle of a traditional tourist spot.
The majority of international visitors to the island have previously had to fly with Garuda Indonesia via the capital, Jakarta or other Indonesian points, but SilkAir and AirAsia do provide international links directly to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Due to the dominance of domestic operations the home market accounted for around 94.8 per cent of O&D traffic at Lombok International Airport in 2012 but there are now increasing flows to Singapore (approximately 25,000 bi-directional passengers in 2012) and Malaysia (around 20,000) thanks to the new international links and similar numbers are expected on the new Australian link.
“As we enter our 10th year of flying, we are delighted to be the first carrier to introduce non-stop services from Australia to Lombok,” said David Hall, Chief Executive Officer, Jetstar Australia and New Zealand.
“Increasing our presence in South East Asia builds on our strategy to be the low fares leader in the region. We know from our experience that the introduction of a low fares carrier helps create new market demand and has a positive impact on the tourism sector.” (RoutesOnline)