Airlines welcome visa free facility, offering discount

Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA News) - Airlines began to race offering discount in welcoming the government policy which offers visa free facility for short term visitors to Indonesia from 75 countries.

The facility is expected to draw more visitors to the country amid the global economic malaise.

Indonesian airlines saw the policy as benefiting air transport business that they are ready to offer significant discount for ticket price.

Commercial Director of AirAsia Indonesia Andy Ardian Febryanto said the budget airline offered a 30 percent discount for international flights.

Discounts are given for direct flights such as from Surabaya- Kuala Lumpur, Surabaya-Johor Bahru, Surabaya-Penang and Surabaya-Bangkok, or "Fly-Thru" flights or with transit in Kuala Lumpur or Bali, such as Surabaya-Taipei, Surabaya-Beijing, Surabaya-Seoul, Surabaya-Tokyo and Surabaya-Sydney, Andy said here on Thursday.

"Surabaya always has a special position as the main destination and market. Although we are aware amid the worrying condition of the economy interest in traveling has dropped sharply by 70 percent , but we are optimistic that the visa free policy would recover the interest in traveling abroad," he said.

He said there are 22 travel agents offering discount for international flights effective as from November 1 until April 2016.

Therefore, foreign travelers including tourists , business visitors and others could take advantage of the visa free travel to Indonesia, he added.

Currently the airline could only offer discount for international routes as there is regulation restricting freedom to offer discount for domestic flights, he said.

Under the new policy, visa free facility is offered for short term visitors to Indonesia from South Africa, Algeria, the United States, Angola, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, the Netherlands, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, Ghana, Hungary, India, Britain, Ireland, Island, Italy, Japan, Germany , Canada, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Croatia, South Korea, Kuwait,Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Egypt, Monaco, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, France, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, China, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Seychelles, Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain , Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Timor Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vatican, Venezuela, Jordan, and Greece.(*)