Indonesia and Malaysia expand air links

15 Jun 2009

Indonesian and Malaysian aviation chiefs have agreed to expand air links between the two countries at a meeting last weekend.

One of the key points is the granting of permission to Indonesian airlines for stopovers in three Malaysian cities, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching in Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.

In return, Malaysia will get additional flights to Jakarta, Medan in Sumatra, Surabaya in East Java and Bali.

Indonesian airlines have been attempting to regain international routes recently after several years in which safety concerns saw Indonesian carriers locked out of important markets such as Europe.

The new agreement, which is expected to be finalised at a signing in Jakarta in August, would allow Indonesian carriers to pick up passengers in Malaysia for other Asian routes.

Currently, state-owned Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Indonesia Air Asia and Sriwijaya Air fly to Malaysia, while Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia have permission to fly to Indonesia.

Kenny Coyle

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