Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has planned to open direct flights to Moscow, Russia, in a bid to attract the countrys tourists to visit Indonesia.

"Currently, we have to transit in a third country when we fly to Russia, and this could take 24 hours, whereas with direct flight, it might only take 11 hours," Ambassador to Russia M. Wahid Supriyadi said here on Wednesday.

Wahid is scheduled to hold a meeting with the management of the national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia to discuss the plan.

"Alhamdulillah (thank God), Garuda has the commitment to fly to Moscow," he noted.

Garuda Indonesia has planned to fly thrice a week to Russia, two flights from Denpasar in Bali and one from Jakarta, from August.

A data of the Tourism Ministry showed that some 85 thousand Russian tourists had visited Indonesia in 2016. The number is targeted to reach 100 thousand tourists in 2017.

However, Wahid remarked that the number was still relatively small compared to Russian tourists visiting Thailand, which is about 1.5 million per year, through direct flights from the country.

"Garudas flight would not only carry passengers but also tropical fruits and vegetables," he revealed, adding that these commodities were scarce in Russia.

Following the European Union and the US embargo, Russia would halt import of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products from the two regions as a response.

The move would provide an opportunity for Indonesian commodities to penetrate the Russian market.

"These products would have to be transported by air cargo," Wahid pointed out, adding that Garuda Indonesia planes could carry some 5 tons of the products in one flight.

Reported by Aditya E.S. Wicaksono



Editor: Suryanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2017