AirAsia Lombok: Ahead of the curve
This past June AirAsia launched three routes from its new Indonesian hub in Lombok: Jakarta to Lombok with 11 flights per week, Bali to Lombok flying seven flights per week and Yogyakarta to Lombok at three flights per week, each with attractive introductory fares.
Adding to the commitment of Lombok as a hub, AirAsia launched a four-times-a-week service between Perth and Lombok, with the inaugural flight touching down in June. Between AirAsia’s new domestic routes and that of Western Australia, Mandalika has begun filling its projections.
“Australia has a sizeable MotoGP fan base, which is great news for us,” says ITDC President Director, Abdulbar M. Mansoer. “With a rich motorcycle racing heritage and the desire to travel to reachable Indonesian destinations, the combination should prove a winner,” he said.
Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown says the new service secured AirAsia’s position in the Perth market by adding more than 74,000 seats annually. “AirAsia has been in the vanguard of a low-cost carrier revolution that has delivered more affordable and accessible travel options for many Western Australians. Travel to Indonesia represents our airport’s largest outbound market, offering an attractive destination for travellers.”
The initiative by AirAsia came as Australian and Indonesian officials attempt to rejuvenate tourism on the island after a series of earthquakes in 2018. The airline’s philanthropic arm, AirAsia Foundation, was also involved in relief efforts after the earthquakes.
Lombok is the airline’s fifth hub in Indonesia and supports efforts by the Indonesian government to develop the island as one of the country’s new destinations. The airline unveiled a new “I love Lombok” livery featuring Lombok tourist attractions, such as Mount Rinjani and the nearby Gili Islands, on its Airbus A320.
As reported in the New Straits Times, AirAsia Group CEO, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, said it would accelerate support to the communities of West Nusa Tenggara and the people of Lombok. “The past year was a very sad and challenging time for the people of Lombok, including the local tourism industry. In the coming months we will be working with airports and government authorities for this newest hub, making this commitment a reality.”
Indonesian Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya says its Wonderful Indonesia campaign is well supported by the airline: “In developing tourism destinations, I always use the 3As formula: Attractions, Access, Amenities and what AirAsia has done is aligned with this, especially access. We truly appreciate AirAsia’s cooperation in helping us develop Indonesian tourism.”
In June this year, authorities finally reopened Mount Rinjani to visitors, nearly one year after its closure due to a 2018 earthquake. The Rinjani agency worked together with the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) to map out potentially dangerous areas, to determine which ones pose moderate danger to climbers and which are safe.
The agency has also placed signs on the mountain to help climbers with directions. At the moment climbers still cannot reach the summit or the crater lake.
Paint has also been used to indicate varying levels of safety: Green and white for safe routes and red for danger. Areas painted yellow tell climbers that they can stop to take pictures of the view, but they cannot camp out at the location.
Frontiers reporting with sources: Jakarta Post; The West.com; NST, CNA