According to the Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, there will soon be an increase in flights between Malaysia and Indonesia in reaction to the sharp rise in arrivals from Indonesia.
He revealed that in January and February of this year, Malaysia welcomed 247,889 and 222,923 visitors from Indonesia, respectively. This represents a huge rise over the 1,714 and 1,756 arrivals in the same period last year.
"The government anticipates that there will be more visitors overall than the 1.48 million who arrived in 2022, but there are not yet enough flights to accommodate this rising visitor volume trend.
He recently wrote on Facebook, "We will work to open more routes and flight frequencies to meet the growing market demand."
Tiong noted that 470,812 Indonesian tourists had already arrived in the first two months of 2023, bringing the total number of visitors from Indonesia to 1.48 million for the entire previous year.
This shows that the tourism industry in Malaysia and Indonesia is making a full recovery. As of April of this year, Indonesia had restored 12 entry ports and 482 flights per week carrying 83,276 passengers had been scheduled between the two nations.
However, he added, "This is still only 70.2% of what there were in February 2020 during the pre-pandemic period, when there were 685 weekly flights.
The minister also mentioned that AirAsia will begin operating a twice-weekly Kertajati-KL flight on May 17 and will shortly add a three times-weekly aircraft between Jakarta and Kuching.
He claimed he has asked the Indonesian office of the Malaysian Tourism Board to step up engagement with the Indonesian government and their tourism counterparts to increase direct flights with Malaysian states to meet market demand. He anticipates that these flights will bring in more tourists from Indonesia.
"We are devoted to increasing the number of flights between our two nations, particularly during the busiest holiday season. This will strengthen ties between our people and significantly enhance our shared tourism industry and economic development.
To jointly promote tourism growth for the benefit of the economies and people of Malaysia and Indonesia, he continued, "We will continue to engage closely with the Indonesian government.