"Two international flights from Batam to China and South Korea have been approved and will soon be launched early next year, probably in February 2017," Suwarso remarked here on Tuesday.
According to him, the opening of two routes is part of an effort by the Riau Islands provincial government to increase the number of tourist visits, especially from East Asia.
With the two new international flights, the Riau Islands provincial government hopes tourist arrivals will increase to enjoy the great tourism potential in the province.
He said Citilink will operate Airbus A320 aircraft, with the capacity to accommodate 180 passengers, to transport tourists from China and South Korea to Riau Islands Province.
"The Riau Islands province has formed a partnership with the tour and travel associations in China and Korea. So, with this partnership, these Batam-China and Korea routes could run smoothly," stated Suwarso.
He added that Indonesias free visa policy is also applicable to China and South Korea, so tourists from these countries will not need visas when visiting Indonesia.
"Hang Nadim International Airport is open 24 hours and ready to serve international flights, so there is no problem anymore," Suwarso noted.
He said the airport had an international flights lounge area, with a capacity of up to 600 seats.
International flights from this airport are currently served only by Malindo Air, travelling to Malaysia once per day.
"If the international flights area becomes crowded, we are ready to increase the capacity of the international waiting room," remarked Suwarso.