Indonesia and Australia are set to renew a bilateral air service agreement in February 2013 to allow carriers from both nations to increase the flight frequency, Jakarta Post reported Wednesday.
The agreement would provide an additional 25,000 seats per week for flights from both countries starting next year.
The Transportation Ministry's air transportation director general, Herry Bhakti Gumay, said the agreement will have significant impact not only on the aviation industry, but also on tourism and trade sectors.
On Tuesday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the transport sector between Indonesia and Australia was signed in Jakarta. "This additional service is an 80 percent increase from our existing capacity, giving a lot of room for airlines (from Indonesia and Australia) to tap into the opportunity," he said.
According the latest data, air slots between Indonesia and Australia reached 31,250 seats per week, and were mostly used by national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, Australian Qantas Airways, Jetstar and Pacific Blue, in addition to several chartered carriers, he said.
He believed that tourism sector will enjoy the largest benefits from the new agreement."Australians love exotic destinations like Bali and East Nusa Tenggara. Next year, we are going to host Sail Komodo," he said.
Central Statistics Agency reported 752,959 tourists from Down Under visited Indonesia in the first 10 months of 2012, increasing from 739,044 in the same period of 2011.
He added, more Indonesian carriers, such as Batik Air, a subsidiary of the country's largest low-cost airline Lion Air, and Citilink Indonesia, plan to fly to Australia. While Garuda Indonesia has recently announced that it will fly to Brisbane in 2013.
Australian Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Anthony Albanese said that the MoU was a testament to the strength of both nations' relationship. He said Indonesia was one of Australia's closest and most important neighbors, with transportation serving as a key enabler of economic growth and development between the two countries and the Asia-Pacific region.