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Garuda Indonesia to Start Direct Singapore-Silangit

HUMBAHASTIMES -- National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia will start operating chartered flights between Singapore and Silangit in Tapanuli, North Sumatra, on Oct. 28 to attract more tourists to the area.

The new flights will establish Silangit Airport as an international terminal in the region. The flights are also aimed at making it easier for Singaporean tourists to access Lake Toba, one of Indonesia's main tourist attractions.

"We wanted to expand both domestic and international connectivity between Silangit and cities in the surrounding area," Garuda Indonesia president director Pahala Mansury said in a statement on Wednesday (18/10).

In addition to strengthening connectivity, the route has promising tourism and economic potential as it involves direct flights from Singapore, Southeast Asia's busiest hub.

Flights between Silangit and Singapore will take around 1,5 hours, with a frequency of three per week, using Bombardier CRJ-1000 aircraft with a seating capacity of about 100 passengers.

"We also express gratitude to the Ministry of Transportation, which has facilitated the national aviation industry through the improvement of the country's airport infrastructure, especially Silangit Airport. We are also grateful that the Ministry of Tourism has facilitated and fully supported our aviation network, especially for potential tourist destinations," Pahala said.

The new route forms part of a collaboration between Garuda Indonesia and the Toba Tourism Authority Board.

The route is expected boost tourist arrivals from Singapore. The number of foreign tourists from the city-state visiting Indonesia increased 0.6 percent to 945,008 between January and August this year, compared with the same period last year.

In March last year, the carrier operated once-daily direct chartered flights between Jakarta and Silangit flight, using Bombardier CRJ-1000 aircraft. (source)