JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has launched new flights to Papua and West Papua, two of the country’s most remote provinces on its eastern frontier.
Garuda Indonesia President Director Irfan Setiaputra announced that the flights, which will go to Makassar, South Sulawesi, Manokwari, West Papua, and Sorong, West Papua, was officially launched on Wednesday, December 9.
“The Makassar-Manokwari-Sorong flight will take off twice a week on Tuesdays and Sundays from Jakarta on a Bombardier CRJ-1000 airliner,” he said in a press release.
Also read: Flag Carrier Garuda Indonesia to Launch Three New Domestic Routes
“This new route can improve networks between Papua and East Papua. We also hope it can bring about an economic stimulus to develop tourism and other economic sectors in Papua and West Papua.
“For instance, Manokwari is known for the beauty of its marine life, while Sorong is the gateway to [Raja Ampat], West Papua’s premier tourist destination.”
He assured that the airline will enforce health protocols on the touch points of this route, as with other destinations, as Indonesia continues to be gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“[Garuda] will work closely with stakeholders in the tourist industry, among them travelers and the government, to provide a safe and comfortable flight experience,” Irfan said.
West Papua governor Dominggus Mandacan hailed the opening of the routes.
Also read: President Jokowi Yet to Deliver Pledge to Allow Foreign Media to Papua and West Papua