Macau is once again connected to the Indonesian capital, following the termination of a direct link between the two cities when the carrier of the previous direct route, Viva Macau, filed for bankruptcy.
According to local newspaper Macau Daily Times, the inaugural Jakarta- Macau flight operated by AirAsia touched down at the local airport at 7.38 a.m., where it was greeted by a water cannon salute. The flight departed from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport carrying 162 guests.
AirAsia Indonesia will operate the Jakarta-Macau service three times weekly using a 180-seat Airbus A320-200 on every Monday, Friday and Sunday. The flight frequency is expected to be increased to four times weekly from September 1.
The arrival of the inaugural flight was followed by a press conference in Macau airport.
“The commencement of AirAsia Indonesia’s direct service between Indonesia and Macau will strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries and bring a positive economic impact, particularly in trade and tourism,” said the Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Hong Kong and Macau, Tri Tharyat.
“As Indonesia’s main gateway, Jakarta is a vibrant city with much to offer, from shopping havens to history and cultural museums, as well as a connection to the country’s other exotic tourism destinations.”
Eric Fong, Macau International Airport’s (CAM) director of marketing, noted that the new route is expected to assist in increasing the volume of passengers using Macau’s airport.
“We encourage the growth of airlines in the number of routes and a greater frequency of flights, as it will emphasize the role of air travel in boosting the economy of Greater China,” he said.
AirAsia Group chief executive officer, Tony Fernandes, did not attend the event in Macau, but he issued a statement claiming that the Malaysian low cost airliner “has always championed Macau.”
“Macau was one of our first international destinations and also one of our earliest unique routes from Kuala Lumpur. The inaugural flight from Jakarta shows that we remain committed to our goal of improving connectivity between Macau, the Pearl River Delta and Asean, and bringing more visitors both to Indonesia and to southern China,” Fernandes said.
To celebrate the route, AirAsia Indonesia is offering a special launch promotion fare to further stimulate demand.