MAJALENGKA-Governor of West Java Ridwan Kamil released jemaah Umrah, were flown first from the West Java International Airport (BIJB) directly to Madinah, at BIJB Kertajati, Majalengka Regency, Saturday (10/13/18).
The release was marked by the embedding of the umroh scarf and the granting of visas to two worshipers. The jemaah are Dream Group Tours service users were flown using Boeing 737 max B plane owned by Lion Air.
Emil, the nickname of Ridwan Kamil, revealed the market for umroh services in West Java is relatively high. According to him, to meet the needs of Umrah flights, West Java requires at least 1,500 direct flights to Madinah each year.
"In our records there are around 150,000 (jemaah Umrah) in Ciayumajakuning alone. In all of West Java it is around 300,000 (jemaah)," said Emil, at the BIJB Airport on Saturday (10/13/18).
"If you use this plane (type of Boeing 737), there can be 1500 flights per year. The market is large, and that's just umroh," he continued.
Emil hopes the process of extending the 500-meter runway will be faster, so large aircraft such as the Airbus type can start operating. In addition, although the BIJB is still focusing on adding domestic routes, Emil hopes the history of the BIJB's first international flight will be the starting point of other international aviation pioneers.
Answering the statement, President Director of Lion Air Group Edward Sirait said his company had ordered 808 aircraft from the three largest factories in the world. 250 units including the latest Airbus series. Later, in addition to serving umroh, the new planes will open new routes through their subsidiary airlines in Thailand and Malaysia, are Thai Lion Air and Malindo Air.
Edward hopes in the future Lion Air will be able to make direct flights to the Middle East every day, but still at a more affordable price, it can continue to boost umroh interest in West Java and even Central Java.
"My hope is, we (Lion Air) will fly passengers every day to the Middle East. Don't give it a fortune, because Lion Air is famous for their cheapest cost," said Edward.
Angkasa Pura II's Technical and Operations Director, Joko Muratmodjo, added currently only one airline is actively operating domestic flights, is Citylink. However, the plan by the end of October 2018, there will be several additional flight routes from partner airlines in this high season.