Indonesia’s Consul-General in Kuching hopeful for reactivation of direct flights between Pontianak, Kuching

Raden (right) presenting a souvenir to Harisson during the courtesy call led by the consulate.

By Nancy Nais

SINGKAWANG, April 21: The reactivation of flights between Pontianak and Kuching and vice versa is something that Indonesia’s Consul-General in Kuching Raden Sigit Witjaksono, is hopeful for.

The routes have been suspended since the Covid-19 pandemic, and although public transportation by land from two major entry points, the Tebedu-Entikong and Biawak-Aruk borders, has resumed, Raden said having another option to travel via direct flights between the two cities will be good for both countries.

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“It is well known that thousands of people from West Kalimantan seek medical treatment in Kuching. Thus, travelling by air is not only faster but also offers better comfort. Many of them, including those from Sarawak who come for tourism, are hopeful for this as well.

“People commute by road daily between Pontianak-Kuching-Pontianak via Tebedu-Entikong and Sinkawang-Kuching-Singkawang via Biawak-Aruk in Lundu. If there is air connectivity, I believe this will have extraordinary potential to optimise our tourism and SMEs (small and medium enterprises). We need to do things that can benefit both sides.

“By increasing the movement of people between Indonesia and Malaysia, it will improve relations in other aspects as well, such as social, cultural, trade, economic and investment,” Raden said at a Twin Tourism Destination program and SME forum yesterday (April 20).

Earlier, Raden and Consul General of Malaysia to Pontianak Azizul Zekri Abd Rahim led a team of Sarawak’s health tourism stakeholders from Normal Medical Centre, Timberland Medical Centre, and Borneo Medical Centre, along with journalists and consulate personnel, on a courtesy call to West Kalimantan’s acting governor, Harisson M. Kes.

Harisson was briefed on the consulate’s programme and forum. Issues and concerns such as air connectivity, border posts, tourism, and trade were also discussed.

“I strongly welcome more collaborations between West Kalimantan and Sarawak, particularly in tourism and SME There are many things which we can do together and learn from each other for the benefit of our people,” Harisson said. — DayakDaily

Sarawak journalists in a group photo with Harisson (second right).
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