Indonesia’s Xpress Air to fly Miri-Pontianak route

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Lee (sixth left) receives an Xpress Air magazine from Swandono during the courtesy visit while others look on.

MIRI: An Indonesia airline, Xpress Air, is planning to launch the first Miri-Pontianak flight in October, catering mainly for the northern Sarawak and Brunei market.

According to Xpress Air’s commercial director Swandono Poernomo, this would be their third and latest flight route to Sarawak after Kuching-Pontianak and Kuching-Yogyakarta.

“This new route will promote tourism in Pontianak and Kalimantan to Mirians and Bruneians.

“In fact, we have already visited Brunei and have seen the prospect and market there, and we are very optimistic about this new route,” he said during a courtesy visit to Assistant Minister of Tourism, Art and Culture, Datuk Lee Kim Shin at Miri Airport yesterday.

Xpress Air business development manager Fanny Andri was also present.

Swandono added that the Miri-Pontianak route would be serviced by the company’s Boeing 787-300 plane, which would take about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, Lee applauded Xpress Air’s plan and pledged to work together with the relevant authorities to speed up the process.

“I am very happy that Xpress Air is ready to fly the Miri-Pontianak route.

“We have also arranged for them to meet with the management of Miri Airport and ground handlers to work out the details. Tomorrow (today) they will meet up with our local tour operators,” Lee told the press.

He said Miri had a huge number of Indonesians who are working in oil palm estates and sawmills, and this new flight route would be convenient for them.

“The Miri-Pontianak route will definitely give a boost to local tourism industry. From Pontianak, we can have connecting flights to Yogyakarta and Bandung.

“People from these places can also visit Miri and fly to our national heritage site, Mulu.

“I can see big potential for the Miri-Pontianak flight and we will give Xpress Air the necessary support through Sarawak Tourism Board and the Ministry of Tourism to help them speed up the process,”said Lee.

Currently, Xpress Air is flying the Kuching-Pontianak, Kuching-Yogyajkarta and Malacca-Pekan Baru routes.

The airline is also planning to launch its Malacca-Bandung route before the Miri-Pontianak route.