Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi supports efforts for Kualanamu International Airport to function as a flight hub to the ASEAN and South Asia to seize opportunities in increasing passengers and cargo.
"Of course, becoming a connecting airport must be seized as an opportunity by collaborating with all stakeholders," Sumadi noted during the conclusion of the National Seminar on Kualanamu as an International Liaison in ASEAN: Challenges and Realizations through Zoom on Tuesday.
The minister opined that since some normalcy was observed in the current situation after the COVID-19 pandemic had struck, it was the right time for Kualanamu to function as a hub for international flights, and this opportunity must be seized promptly by involving all stakeholders.
This measure could contribute to economic growth at both the regional and national scales, given that several areas, such as tourism, would be benefited. "When it becomes a connecting airport, it will attract more domestic and international tourists," Sumadi stated.
He opined that the Kualanamu International Airport was strategically positioned to connect to the ASEAN and South Asian regions, which in fact could be optimized to work on.
"By becoming an international hub, it can not only increase the number of passengers but also cargo in the Asian region," he noted.
He expects Angkasa Pura Aviation, as the manager of Kualanamu International Airport, to pursue and enhance collaboration with all stakeholders in the aviation sector in order to realize that goal.
President Director of PT Angkasa Pura Aviation Ahmad Rifai said the total number of passengers visiting North Sumatra via the Kualanamu International Airport reached 16,000 to 18,000 per day, and this figure was still far below the recorded arrival from before the pandemic, which was capped at some 24,000 to 25,000 passengers per day.
Rifai noted that this year, Kualanamu Airport aimed at providing a direct flight route to one of the countries in South Asia, which was India. He said PT Angkasa Pura Aviation had also spoken with several airlines to provide direct routes to India.
"The principle is reciprocity. If they are willing to offer direct flights to Kualanamu, then the Indonesian airlines will also offer direct flights to India," he elaborated.
- TAGS / KEYWORDS: