... we hope there will be direct flights soon at least within the next year or two... "Jakarta (ANTARA News) - US Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel has stated that direct flight services between Indonesia and the United States will boost bilateral tourism flows between the two countries.
"As the third and fourth largest countries (by population) in the world, we must have direct flights," he said at his official residence here on Tuesday night.
Marciel noted that a number of airline companies in the US and Indonesia had discussed the necessity of direct flight services between the two countries but "nothing has materialized yet".
"However, we hope there will be direct flights soon at least within the next year or two," he said.
Meanwhile, the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (Asita) chairman, Asnawi Bahar, said direct flight services between the United States and Indonesia were crucial for the development of the country's tourism industry.
"We hope the regional airline companies will start aiming for new destinations in order to bring tourists from the target countries to Indonesia," he stated.
Earlier, Deputy Minister of Transportation Bambang Susantono, during the Aviation Safety Conference in Bali in May, said the Indonesian government wanted to obtain the license needed for direct flights to the United States in 2013.
"By the time the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit begins, Indonesia is expected to already have a license for direct flights to the United States," he noted.
Indonesia currently does not have any direct flights to the United States. Travellers must transit through another country before reaching their destinations.
Editor: Ade P Marboen
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