"India and Indonesia have agreed on the provision of the direct flight service."
Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - Ambassador of India to Indonesia and ASEAN Gurjit Singh hoped that the planned direct flight from India to Indonesia could be realized in 2013 considering that the bilateral agreement for it has already been signed by the two countries.

"The governments of India and Indonesia have agreed on the provision of the direct flight service and we have had a bilateral agreement for it," Singh said on the India-ASEAN Business Seminar here on Monday.

He stressed that what is needed to realize the flight service between the two countries is airline companies` readiness to serve the route.

Singh encouraged national airline Garuda Indonesia and several Indian private airlines to consider the potential market.

According to him, India`s private airline companies have served many strategic routes across Asia, such as Singapore and Malaysia.

He admitted he still saw some constraints hindering the realization of the direct flight service to Indonesia.

"However, the constraints are only relating to commercial airlines` calculation and not at government levels," Singh explained.

Singh said both Indonesia and India have a common interest in realizing the direct flight service in view of the good trade relations between the two countries.

Besides, the number of tourists from India has also increased significantly for the last several years, he added.

The Bali Provincial Tourism Office has recorded as many as 32,361 tourists from India visited Bali until September 2012, while there were approximately 50 thousand Indian tourists coming in 2011.

"The average number of Indians visiting Indonesia reaches 120 thousand to 150 thousand people per year," Singh noted.

Meanwhile, Secretary of the Directorate General of ASEAN Cooperation, Rahmat Pramono said that efforts to realize India-Indonesia direct flight service have been discussed in several bilateral meetings.

"Hopefully the direct flight service could be realized in 2013 as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has visited India last year and is also scheduled to visit India again in December for an ASEAN event and with bilateral agenda for further discussion," Pramono stated.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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