Jakarta (ANTARA) - Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno has assured that he will take responsive action on expensive airfares without delay, including by communicating with the Ministry of Transportation on increasing the number of airlines.

"We hear the complaints and continue to make efforts for immediate follow-up action," he said at the office of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy here on Wednesday.

He informed that he had asked Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi to increase the number of airlines in the country by mid-2024.

Uno said that the airlines that began operating from April 2024 have been focusing on eastern Indonesian flight routes, for instance, TransNusa is running flights on the Bali-Manado, Manado-Sorong, and Manado-Ambon routes.

"(However) The overall number of flights has not been increased," he added.

He then cited flights to Bali as an example. Although the number of domestic tourists interested in visiting Bali increased by around 10 percent, the number of flights to Bali decreased by around 20 percent.

"It means the load factor (occupancy) increased," he said.

The minister further said that despite the high airfares, there has been no sign of a decline in travel interest among people.

On the same occasion, expert staff at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Nia Niscaya, expressed the hope that the high airfares will not discourage people from visiting tourist destinations, especially during the school holiday period from June to July.

She advised people to opt for destinations that are closer to home, for example, Seribu Islands for Jakarta residents.

Earlier, Uno forecast that airfares would decline as soon as airlines increase the number of aircraft.

He predicted that airfares would fall in the second half of 2024.

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Translator: Putu Indah, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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