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Direct KK-Sulawesi flight soon

KOTA KINABALU: A direct flight from here to Manado, North Sulawesi, will soon become a reality next month or May, said Consul-General of Indonesia in Kota Kinabalu, Krishna Djelani. He said the proposed direct route, which was mooted by North Sulawesi Governor Olly DondoKambey last year, would boost the tourism industry in Sabah and North Sulawesi. Krishna said this to reporters after opening the North Sulawesi Tourism Office (NSTO) sales mission to Kota Kinabalu at the Consulate, here. He said Indonesia is currently awaiting the green light from the State Government to kick off the air connectivity. Manado is the second largest city on Sulawesi after Makassar.

Olly paid a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and the Deputy Chief Minister cum Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew last November.“During the meeting, Olly raised a plan that would enhance and promote their respective tourism industries by opening a new direct flight route from here to Manado so that foreign tourists, especially from China, could also benefit.“Tourists can spend two to three days here and continue their holidays in Manado that also has eco-tourism attractions such as diving spot,” he said.AirAsia used to have a direct flight between Kuala Lumpur and Manado but has since stopped. North Sulawesi Province Tourism Head, Daniel Mewengkang, held a Table Top B2B (Business to Business) session, which was part of its two-day sales mission, with the local tourism players comprising members of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Sabah Chapter and Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) at the Indonesia Consulate here, recently.

He said the sales mission was a follow-up action after the courtesy call by Olly to Shafie and Liew. Krishna said the proposed direct flight would use Malindo Air or Batik Air for both cities that would take two hours and 15 minutes from here to Manado and vice versa.“Manado and Kota Kinabalu  have similarities in terms of tourism aspects where both have marine tourism destinations, cultural tourism and natural tourism (eco-tourism) that are being promoted.“Foreign tourists, particularly from China and Korea, generally would spend their holidays here due to the marine tourism like enjoying themselves in the islands here and doing diving as well as snorkelling.“We also have all these tourism attractions and activities,” he said.

On reviving the direct flight from here to Jakarta which was stopped last December, Krishna said there is a possibility to be looked into as the market is still there as many Malaysians, including in Sabah, often go to Jakarta, Bandung and Yogyakarta.

Source: Daily Express | Mar 12, 2019