According to the initial plan, the scheduled voyage of the Lion Air Group's flight was on May 10 but was deferred to May 15.
"The addition of flights was diverted on May 15, taking into account Lion Air's readiness," an official of Yogyakarta International Airport Agus Pandu Purnama remarked in Kulon Progo on Saturday.
Purnama clarified that his side had yet to receive certainty over the release of the slot submitted by Lion Air to the Transportation Ministry. However, observing the potential of passengers ahead of Eid al-Fitr, he assesses that Lion Air will commence flight operations in mid-May.
Starting May 10, Lion Air Group, through its subsidiary Batik Air, will begin regular flights to Bali, Jakarta, Palangkaraya, and Batam from the Yogyakarta International Airport. However, the airline is yet working towards completing the formalities for the slot permit at the Ministry of Transportation.
"We await Lion Air's readiness and the release of additional routes to the Yogyakarta International Airport," he noted.
With a delay in the addition of flights, Yogyakarta International Airport is yet serving only Citilink that has been operating regular daily flights from the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport, Jakarta, to the Yogyakarta International Airport, since May 6.
"Services at YIA will run normally, as the airport officials are experienced in handling all flight operations," he emphasized.
Purnama pointed out that at least 32 passengers, with some from Purworejo and Kebumen, had landed at the Yogyakarta International Airport.
The Yogyakarta International Airport is considered nothing short of a blessing for the people of the southern Central Java region, as they can frequently take flights at the Yogyakarta International Airport to travel to Jakarta without the need to go through the Adisucipto Airport, which is located fairly far from where they live.
"This market was earlier not accommodated, and the people chose to travel by train. However, after the Yogyakarta International Airport is closer, they have switched to taking flights at airports," Purnama remarked.
Speaking in connection with the additional flight service, Purnama expressed concern over the issue of highway access to the Yogyakarta International Airport that may pose a barrier.
He pointed to 30 additional flight schedules to the Yogyakarta International Airport, with each carrying 100 passengers, thereby translating to three thousand flight service users.
This aspect should be taken into account along with accessibility issues. AP I has readied supporting land transportation in the form of bus transportation, shuttle, and trains, but the figure is only optimal for 1,200 passengers.
Purnama remarked that the Yogyakarta International Airport had been widely publicized, and the people were aware of it. This was proven during his visit to Wojo Station where 40 passengers had gotten off the train. Some of them were flight service users, who would be heading to the Yogyakarta International Airport, while others were solely there to get a feel of the train trip to the airport.
"The existence of Yogyakarta International Airport and supporting modes of transportation are well publicized, so the people are already aware of the access to the Yogyakarta International Airport terminal," he added.