According to plan, it would start on May 15, but we have not received official information."
Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - Barring unexpected problem, the countrys flag carrier Garuda Indonesia will start serving the route between Jakarta and Timika of Papua in mid May.

Garuda will serve the route via Makassar of South Sulawesi every day, head of the Mimika air communications office John Rettob said here on Tuesday.

John said Garuda is expected to immediately take over the route left by the Merpati Nusantara, a government airline which has stopped operation on financial difficulty.

"According to plan, it would start on May 15, but we have not received official information. We hope that it could be earlier as demand for air transport between Timika and Makassar is high as well as between Timika and Jayapura," he said.

He said Merpati Nusantara stopped operation in the region since February and the transport ministry has offered a number of routes left by Merpati to other airlines.

Garuda Indonesia and Sriwijaya Air have indicated interest.

Garuda Indonesia asked for the route of Jakarta-Makassar-Timika-Jayapura to be served everyday, and Sriwijaya Air wanted the route of Timika-Sorong-Manado three times a week.

The Moses Kilangin airport authority in Timika has agreed to arrangement of time slot for the two airlines.

However, John said until now Sriwijaya Air had not coordinated with the Mimika district administration on its proposal to serve the Timika-Sorong-Manado route.

If the airline is not serious in its proposal, the route could be offered to other airlines, he said.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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