Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA) - National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia began its new direct flight connecting Denpasar in Bali to Ambon, the capital of Maluku Province, on Sunday in an effort to increase tourist arrivals to Maluku's islands, an official said.

The airline will use a Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft, which can carry 96 passengers. The plane has 84 economy-class seats and 12 business-class seats.

"Starting from today, we serve a direct flight from Denpasar to Ambon," a station manager of Garuda Indonesia at Pattimura International Airport, Idham, said.

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Garuda serves the Denpasar-Ambon flights on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in which the aircraft will depart from Ngurah Rai International Aiport in Bali and arrive at Pattimura International Airport at 4:25 p.m. local time.

The flight will return to Denpasar, Bali, at 5:10 p.m. local time.

"(Bombardier) is one of efficient aircraft for domestic flights in Indonesia. We assure the passengers will experience a comfortable trip," he added.

On a different occasion, Maluku's acting province secretary, Kasrul Selang, applauded the national flag carrier's new direct flight. "This new flight operates three times a week but I expect in the future the number of passengers will increase. So, this new route will operate daily," Selang remarked.

Following this new direct flight, Selang expected local travel agents to offer more attractive packages for foreign and domestic tourists.

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Translator: Penina Fiolana M/Genta Tenri M
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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