National airlines Garuda Indonesia has resumed its flight from Medan, North Sumatra to Singapore as part of the expansion of its international flight routes.
This move is also expected to prompt more tourism and meet the needs of business people of North Sumatra and surrounding areas.
Chairman of Garuda Indonesia, M Arif Wibowo, stated in a press release in Jakarta on Tuesday that the resumption of the flight is part of the companys business strategy to expand its international flight network, especially to Singapore.
"With this Medan to Singapore flight and vice versa, we seek to elevate Garuda Indonesias position in the Singaporean market, especially considering the importance of the diplomatic relationship between Indonesia and Singapore," he noted.
Medan has a number of tourism potentials, and he hoped that the new route will strengthen the tourism sector.
The resumption of flights on this route comes close on the heels of ASEAN Economic Community that kicked in this year.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya expressed his support and appreciation for Garuda Indonesia on its decision to resume the flight route.
"North Sumatra has Lake Toba, which is one of the 10 prime tourism destinations in Indonesia," he remarked.
He believed that this route will have a very positive impact on tourism and the number of visitors to North Sumatra will go up.
Flight number GA-850 from Medan to Singapore will depart from Medan at 1:30 PM local time, and arrive in Singapore at 4 PM local time.
Flight number GA-851 will depart from Singapore at 11:15 AM local time and arrive in Medan at 11:45 AM local time.
The flight will serve customers from major cities in Sumatra such as Palembang, Padang, Banda Aceh and Lampung, who wish to fly to Singapore without going through a layover in Jakarta, thus saving time and money.
The non-stop flight is likely to attract people from Medan and its surrounding areas to embark on a holiday without having to stop over in Jakarta, as Garuda Indonesia has just begun a flight to London via Singapore.
This is the second international flight route to depart from Medan that has been started by Garuda Indonesia. In December last year, the national carrier had opened a route to Jeddah from Medan.
Garuda Indonesia also serves a few attractive domestic routes departing from Medan, including Jakarta, Banda Aceh, Batam, Denpasar and Lhokseumawe.
As part of its expansion program in 2016, Garuda Indonesia Group is welcoming 17 new airplanes to join its fleet, consisting of a Boeing 777-300ER, 4 Airbus A330-300, 4 ATR72-600, and 8 Airbus A320 for its subsidiary carrier, Citilink.
By the end of 2016, Garuda Indonesia Group will be operating a total of 197 airplanes, 144 of which will be with Garuda Indonesia, and 53 with Citilink (Antara)