Wing Air - a subsidiary airline of the Indonesian carrier Lion Air, has commenced flying between the East Java city of Malang and Bali effective March 7, 2011. Meanwhile, another airline Sky Air is preparing to operate flights from the East Java port of Banyuwangi to Malang. Banyuwangi (Ketapang) is the crossing point for ferries sailing the narrow straits between Java and Bali port of Gilimanuk.
The head of operations for the Air Force base at Malang, which also serves as that city's commercial airport, Colonel Novyanto Widadi, reports that the necessary permits and licenses for Wing Air to fly between Malang and Denpasar (Bali) have all been issued by the Department of Transportation and the Indonesian Air Force.
Novyanto revealed that that the Wing Air flights will operate on a daily basis departing from Bali at 1:40 pm and from Malang at 2:30 pm. The new service will be operated by an ATR 95 Series 500 aircraft with seating capacity for 70 passengers.
Erna Hastining, branch manage for Haryono Travel in Malang, told the press that she was optimistic that the new service would be popular, particularly on weekends and periods surrounding long holidays when domestic travelers wish to travel to Bali. The price of a one-way ticket between Malang and Bali starts from Rp. 390,000 (US$43.50).
Details on the planned flights between Malang and Banyuwangi still remain sketchy as Sky Air is said to still be busily organizing the required permits and licenses for the service.
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