PT GARUDA Indonesia Tbk. continue to optimize network expansion to support the growth of the national tourism sector. This commitment is realized through the addition of a new flight route in the eastern region of Indonesia, namely Denpasar-Sorong round trip, which will begin operating on November 24 2023.

According to the Main Director of Garuda Indonesia, Irfan Setiaputra, the operation of this flight route will also directly connect West Papua with South Sulawesi. Flights from Sorong will later be integrated with flight routes connecting Makassar with Denpasar.

Seeing the various potentials and opportunities that exist, Irfan is optimistic that the operation of this flight route will further support the economic growth in the Eastern region of Indonesia.

“Especially in the Papua region, where Sorong City has been designated as the first Special Economic Zone in Papua,” said Irfan in a written statement on Wednesday, (11/08), 2023.

Apart from that, he said, the existence of Makassar and Denpasar as growth centers in Sulawesi and the Nusa Tenggara Islands is expected to also become an accelerator for the potential development of Sorong City and West Papua Province. So, he hopes that the expansion of Garuda Indonesia’s flight network will not only improve connectivity in the eastern region of Indonesia.

“However, it also contributes to encouraging the realization of equitable and sustainable development throughout Indonesia, especially through a focus on tourism development in Eastern Indonesia,” Irfan remarked.

This flight, which connects two of Indonesia’s leading destinations, namely Bali and Raja Ampat, will be served every Friday and Sunday using a Boeing 737-800NG aircraft. The plane can carry 162 passengers (12 Business Class passengers and 150 Economy Class passengers).

Apart from that, Garuda Indonesia will also increase the frequency of the Denpasar-Sorong round-trip flight to 3 (three) times per week, namely on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, during December 2023. This is part of the company’s efforts to optimize potential traffic or demand growth amidst the momentum of the year-end holidays.

The Denpasar-Sorong route flight will depart from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar with GA-686 at 02.15 LT and arrive at Domine Eduard Osok Airport, Sorong at 06.20 LT. As for the reverse route, the plane is scheduled to depart from Sorong with GA-621 at 08.00 LT and arrive at Sultan Hasanuddin Airport, Makassar at 08.40 LT.

Then it departed again—with the same flight number—at 10.55 LT and landed in Denpasar at 12.25 LT. The operation of the Denpasar – Sorong PP flight complements the Jakarta-Sorong PP flight route that was previously operated by Garuda Indonesia.

Apart from that, the operation of the Sorong-Denpasar flight route (via Makassar) will also connect Sorong with various destinations, accessible via Makassar, starting from Kendari, Gorontalo, Palu, to Jeddah; as well as increasing connectivity between the largest city in West Papua and various international destinations via Denpasar, including Narita, Melbourne, Singapore, Sydney and Seoul.

According to Irfan, with Sorong’s resources as a city with potential in the agricultural, plantation, fisheries and sea transportation sectors, as well as promising natural tourism, the presence of the Denpasar-Sorong PP flight service can increase the added value of Sorong and West Papua.

“So that we can continuously support the Government’s efforts to build and develop the Papua region. Especially through the support of reliable, safe and comfortable air connectivity,” concluded Irfan. [sources/photo special]