Ternate (ANTARA News) - Citilink plans to open a new international flight route between China and the Morotai island in North Maluku to support development of the island into one of ten main tourist destinations in the country.

Head of the North Maluku Telecommunications and Informatics Service Burhan Mansyur said the management of the airline has signed a memorandum of understanding with the district administration of Morotai on the plan to open the international flight route.

The Morotai island was one of military bases of the Alliance Forces during the World War II facing Japan in the Pacific war.

The plan is Citilink, a subsidiary of the nations flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, would open the route between China and Morotai via Manado in North Sulawesi.

Realization of the plan, however, would depends on the completion of project to modernize the Leo Wattimena airport of Morotai, Burhan said here on Tuesday.

He said the runway of the airport already meets the conditions to serve international flights but it needs renovation in its passenger terminal.

He said as one of ten main tourist destinations, modernization of the the airport would be given a priority with fund from the state budget.

Head of the North Maluku Tourism and Cultural Service Anwar Husen said the opening the international flight route would bring more foreign tourists to the Pacific rim island.

Not many foreign tourists are interested to visit Morotia on problem in air transport, Anawar said.

Even domestic tourists from the western part of the country could visit Morotai only via Manado and Ternate.

Apart from its historical background as former main military base of the Allied Force, Ternate has wide sparkling sand beach and under sea panoramic scene attracting many surfers to that location.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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