More low-cost carriers needed to cut domestic travel costs: Minister

More low-cost carriers needed to cut domestic travel costs: Minister


Jakarta — Tourism Minister Arief Yahya says Indonesia needs to develop more low-cost carriers to help decrease domestic travel costs, while also increasing foreign tourist numbers to the country. It is not an uncommon issue discussed among travelers that domestic travel can sometimes cost more than international travel, a reason behind the popularity of neighboring countries such as Thailand, China and Japan. Among the reasons, Arief said, was air fare. “We don’t have too many LCC (low-cost carrier),” he said during a discussion themed “We the Youth” in Jakarta recently. The minister further said additional LCCs were needed to meet the government’s target of 20 million foreign tourists by 2019. LCCs are able to provide more affordable tickets and minimalist flying services. Arief noted that such services were readily available in neighboring destinations such as in Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Thailand. Some countries even operate low-cost terminals to accommodate the flights, he added. Bangkok has two airports, he said, Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Muang International Airport. “Don Muang is a LCT (lost cost terminal),” Arief said, adding that Suvarnabhumi is mainly for premium airlines. Meanwhile, Arief noted that flights to eastern Indonesia faced a different challenge. “The long distances with travel time make the prices higher,” he said. The solution would be more direct flight, since transits are still common, he added.