Jakarta (ANTARA) - The prices of airplane tickets have not reduced in all provinces, but as the number of airplanes and seat availability increases, airfares are expected to fall gradually, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno has said.

"We expect that airplane ticket prices will decrease gradually and become affordable since the domestic tourist target is 1.4 billion movements, and this should be supported by all stakeholders," he informed.

Data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) has shown that the number of airplane passengers in Indonesia has increased by 85 percent to reach 55.85 million, he informed during “The Weekly Brief” event, which was streamed online on Monday.

This is a positive achievement, but the Tourism and Creative Industry will cooperate with the Transportation Ministry as well as national and international airlines, he informed.

This is because there has been a direct instruction from the President to increase the number of direct flights to Indonesia, he said.

Uno welcomed the reduction in airfares, saying this reduction is expected to be evenly distributed, especially as the Eid al-Fitr holiday season in April draws near.

During the event, former commissioner of Garuda Indonesia, Peter F. Gontha, said that Indonesia should liberalize flight routes.

Moreover, the country should not apply lower and upper limit rates to minimize envy, if there are airlines that provide promotion, he advised.

"Everyone should openly compete," he said.

He also highlighted that airlines from overseas compete not just based on ticket prices.

For instance, airlines such as Qatar, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, and Emirates do not earn profit from flights, but through passengers' transit at certain hubs, he explained

This is because it has been calculated that if passengers land or transit, such as in Singapore, they will spend US$300–US$500 per person, he said.

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Translator: Sinta Ambarwati, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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