Semarang, C Java (ANTARA News) - The national airport management, PT Angkasa Pura I, will extend the runway of the General Ahmad Yani International Airport in Semarang, Central Java, so that it can accommodate wide-body aircraft for Umrah.

"In addition to completing the terminal beautification project, in 2019, we will extend the runway from 2,560 meters to 2,800 meters so that such wide-body planes, such as the Airbus 330, can land," President Director of PT Angkasa Pura I, Faik Fahmi, said here Friday.

Faik added that the runway extension was expected to increase the number of foreign flights, in addition to the Umrah flights.

"If the need for Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage flights can be met, then the frequency of international flights can increase," Faik said.

At present, international flights from General Ahmad Yani Airport are only available to Malaysia and Singapore routes by AirAsia and Silk Air.

Faik expected the runway extension to be completed by the end of 2019.

Currently, the new terminal can accommodate seven million passengers per year, while the average passenger growth is 24 percent.

Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo hoped that large-bodied aircraft could land at General Ahmad Yani Airport.

"We want to have wide-body planes landing here. I have spoken with the Minister of Transportation and he would help us extend the runway," he said.

"We just have to take a good captive market. If we can have direct flights to Umrah, it will be extraordinary," he said.

Ganjar predicted that in the next ten years, Ahmad Yani Airport would grow at a rapid pace.

Reporting by Juwita Trisna Rahayu
Editing by Libertina, Bustanuddin

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Editor: Heru Purwanto
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