Indonesia State airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II has initiated a new cooperation with Indian airport operator GVK to position Medan Kualanamu as an Indonesian gateway to the Indian sub-continent and to boost tourism to North Sumatra, particularly to Lake Toba. According to the cooperation agreement signed between both partners, Kualanamu International Airport will be transformed into a gateway to reach easily Lake Toba thanks to flights of Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya and Wings Air (Group Lion Air) to Silangit regional airport, which is located in the vicinity of the Lake.
The Toba region is now considered as a priority tourism development area by the Indonesian Central Government with special tax incentives for investors. Angkasa Pura II said in a statement that Sumatra largest airport would serve routes to India, Sri Lanka and new destinations in Southeast Asia, the Middle East as well as to China.
“GVK Airports has managed to transform Bangalore and Mumbai International Airports into the best airports in India and one of their portfolios was to increase connectivity between India and Sri Lanka,” PT Angkasa Pura II, president director Budi Karya, was quoted as saying by kontan.co.id, a couple of months ago.
Budi Karya hopes that GVK will help also boosting revenues at Kualanamu International Airport within the next two years thanks to the initiated cooperation. Kuala Namu is de facto Indonesia’s closest airport for the Indian market, just two hours and a half away from Indian coasts. Another growth segment for Medan is the development of flights to Saudi Arabia to cater with the rising demand for haj-bound pilgrimages from North Sumatra and Aceh.
Meanwhile, GVK Airports airport development president Karthi Gajendran said the cooperation would revolve around an increase in flight traffic, aero business traffic services and non-aero business services.Gajendran vowed to help transform Kualanamu International Airport into a regional hub.