THERE are currently no plans for direct flights between Myanmar and Yogyakarta on Garuda Indonesia, despite word going around on certain news outlets, but Myanmar’s outbound travel consultants are keen for such a service.
Several news outlets had quoted Indonesia’s ambassador to Myanmar, Ito Sumardi, as saying that the Indonesian government has held discussions with the country’s flag carrier Garuda Indonesia regarding the route. Direct flights would begin this year with the aim to boost visitor numbers between the two countries, said a Jakarta Globe report.
However, Garuda Indonesia spokesperson Ikhsan Rosan told TTG Asia e-Daily: “Garuda Indonesia is studying and monitoring the market situation, but there is no solid plan to fly the route so far.”
Visitor numbers between the two countries are currently very low, with few Myanmar tourists visiting Indonesia each year, while figures from the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, show that Indonesia is not a top 10 source market in Asia.
Thet Zin, director of Living Irrawaddy Travel Services said: “For Myanmar tourists going abroad, Bali is a popular destination, but other places in Indonesia are not.”
Nevertheless, she added: “But Yogyakarta has Borobudur and other temples, so I am sure demand would increase if direct flights began, especially because of visa-free travel (both ways).”
Htar Htar Hlaing, ticketing manager of Seven Diamond Express Travels, concurred that Bali is a popular Indonesian destination for Myanmar tourists, but that other destinations in the archipelago tend not to be.
Direct flights could turn the situation around though, she noted.
Source: TTG Asia