Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) -

The East Nusa Tenggara Government has appealed to TransNusa to increase its Kupang-Dili international flights from two to three per week, and supported the local airline in scheduling a Kupang-Dili-Darwin flight to strengthen the three countries' connectivity.

Speaking to ANTARA in Kupang on Saturday, PT TransNusa Aviation Mandiri CEO Leo Budiman said East Nusa Tenggara Deputy Governor Josef Nae Soi had expressed the request at a meeting with members of the Timor Leste delegation on Friday evening.

The passenger rates of the Kupang-Dili and Dili-Kupang international flights have so far reached some 70 percent, he said, adding that the deputy governor also supports TransNusa in extending its international flight route to Darwin, Northern Territory.

The airline is currently preparing to offer service on the Kupang-Dili-Darwin flight route, he added.

The meeting between the delegates of Indonesia and Timor Leste was held in Kupang, the capital city of East Nusa Tenggara Province, on Friday. Among the matters discussed were connectivity, fisheries, husbandry, and oil and gas.

The Indonesian delegation was represented by Head of Southeast and South Asian Economic Cooperation at the Coordinating Ministry for Economy Devy Panggabean, while Timor Leste's delegation was headed by Joao Mendes Goncalves, a top official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

The governments of Indonesia and Timor Leste have a strong commitment to strengthening the two countries' cooperation in various fields.

On August 30, Indonesian Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono was in Dili, Timor Leste, as a special envoy of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to attend the 20th anniversary celebrations of Referendum Day.

Hadimuljono confirmed that his ministry had increased cooperation with Timor Leste in the field of infrastructure.

"The Indonesian government has made a strong commitment to helping and establishing cooperation with Timor Leste, particularly in the areas of infrastructure construction and the development of human resources," Hadimuljono noted in a press statement.

During his visit, Hadimuljono, in the company of Indonesian Ambassador to Timor Leste Sahat Sitorus, held a meeting with Infrastructure Minister of Timor Leste Salvador Soares dos Reis Pires to discuss efforts to intensify cooperation in infrastructure projects and in the development of human resources.

Also, the two countries' public works ministers signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on infrastructure on March 22, 2011. The MoU was revised to an MoU on cooperation in the fields of Infrastructure, Public Works, Housing, Urban Development, and Regions on July 10, 2017.

The cooperation encompasses training, exchanges of visits of experts, fellowship programs, bridge constructions, and sharing of experiences in infrastructure development.
Related news: Transnusa open flight route to connect Kupang-Dili-Darwin
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Translator: KOrnelis Kaha, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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