Citilink, the low-cost subsidiary of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, is slated to fly from Jakarta to Jayapura in Papua starting Jan. 23. The airline’s manager for Java, Bali, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi and Papua, Emir Bustaman, told kompas.com on Wednesday that the move was due to high demand from Papuan residents to travel outside the region.
“Previously Citilink only focused on expanding its network on Java and Sumatra. Now it’s time for us to open our service to the eastern part of the country, which is a huge potential market. Garuda Indonesia’s flights to Papua, for instance, are almost always full,” said Emir.
From Jakarta, Citilink will fly directly to Jayapura. The Jakarta-Jayapura route will go through Makassar in South Sulawesi.
“These Citilink schedules will be directly connected to Garuda Indonesia’s schedule so that passengers can easily continue their journey to other destinations,” said Emir, adding that there were possibilities that the carrier would fly to other Papuan cities like Manokwari, Merauke and Sorong.
“We’ll open additional routes if the Jakarta-Jayapura flight receives good responses. We will offer affordably priced tickets as well.”
Throughout the first half of 2016, Citilink opened at least five new routes including Medan-Aceh, Bandung-Pekanbaru, Jakarta-Lombok, Ujung Pandang-Manado and Surabaya-Manado. The carrier is presently serving 54 routes, flying to 27 cities across Indonesia.
Jayapura City is the provincial capital of Papua, Indonesia. It is situated on the island of New Guinea, on Yos Sudarso Bay (formerly known as Humboldt Bay). Jayapura is the largest city in the Indonesian part of New Guinea. It is served by Sentani Airport, located near Lake Sentani.
Indonesian Papua is as Far East in Indonesia as you can go, with sublime landscapes, extraordinary animals and an ancient and vibrant Melanesian culture. Head for the highland town of Wamena, an hour’s flight away. Its home to Papua’s famous Dani tribespeople and the gateway to the Baliem Valley. The trekking in the mountains at the southern end of the Baliem Valley is world class and this is the big draw for many visitors.
The scenery is inspiring and the walking is fairly challenging and often very muddy, but it’s the cultural interactions that provide the most lasting memories. Sleeping on straw floors in a thatched hut and eating sweet potatoes (the ‘national dish’ of the highlands) with a family in traditional dress will make you feel like an 18th century explorer.
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