Banyuwangi, East Java (ANTARA News) - PT Citilink Indonesia, a subsidiary of the country`s flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia Group, will start operating direct two-way flights on the Kuala Lumpur-Banyuwangi route on December 19, 2018.

Secretary of the Banyuwangi Transportation Agency Ali Ruchi made the statement here on Wednesday, adding that he had also received notification from Citilink that flight tickets for the route had already been sold to prospective passengers and could be ordered online through the website: page.

"Ticket purchases can be done directly online on the Citilink official website or directly at the Citilink counter," he revealed, adding that ordering through other online platforms is still in the process.

As stated on the official website of Citilink, the aircraft from Banyuwangi departs at 8:20 a.m. Western Indonesia Standard time (WIB) and will arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 12:10 p.m. local time, while the aircraft from Kuala Lumpur will depart at 1:20 p.m. local time and arrive in Banyuwangi at 3:10 p.m. WIB.

"The Kuala Lumpur-Banyuwangi flight is estimated to take three hours," Ruchi noted.

The flight connecting Kuala Lumpur to Banyuwangi will be served by an Airbus A-320, with a capacity of 180 passengers.

Meanwhile, Banyuwangi District Head Abdullah Azwar Anas remarked that the opening of international routes was expected to improve accessibility to Banyuwangi following the earlier routes from Surabaya and Jakarta.

"Of course, we hope this would further drive the local economy," Anas noted.

In the meantime, Head of the Banyuwangi`s Culture and Tourism Office M. Y. Bramuda said he had brought together 20 Malaysian travel agents and 20 Indonesian agents. The meeting was aimed at discussing the tourist market share that could be worked on with the opening of the route.

"This route targets Malaysian millennial tourists looking to enjoy Banyuwangi`s natural attractions, including the Ijen Crater, without having to transit in Jakarta. This potential is the greatest, as Malaysia has no volcanoes," he noted.

In addition, this route targets religious tourists from the Tamil Indian community groups that account for 10 percent of Malaysia`s total population.

Bramuda said Malaysians from the Indian Tamil group were interested in visiting Agung Blambangan Temple in Muncar and Agung Kawitan Temple in Alas Purwo National Park that was always packed with Hindus from various regions in Indonesia.

With the opening of the route, migrant workers can benefit from the three- to five-day leave to return home.

Reporting by Masuki M Astro, Bustanuddin
Editing by Bustanuddin

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Editor: Yosep Hariyadi
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