Royal Brunei Airlines is set to open up a new route from Bandar Seri Begawan to Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, this year. This national flag carrier of Brunei Darussalam currently has three flight routes in Indonesia: Jakarta, Surabaya and Denpasar. The plan to open up the new route would be the fourth routes of Royal Brunei Airlines in the country.
Facts that Lombok won numerous halal awards at the World Halal Tourism Awards in 2016 and 2017 is one of the reason that Royal Brunei plans to open that new route. Executive General Manager of Royal Brunei Airlines, Brett McDougall says that as the first step, the airline will conduct a study to ensure that all potential in West Nusa Tenggara will be able to support the new route to open.
Muhammad Amin, Vice governor of West Nusa Tenggara welcomes the Royal Brunei plans because the province is currently working on the campaign of halal tourism, and seek it as a potential to gain more tourists from the middle east and other Muslim-majority countries. "We are also currently exploring the possibility of adding domestic and foreign flight routes," he said.
He also added that the new flight route can give an impact to the tourism industry, for it can increase the number of tourists both domestic and foreign tourist. “It can also add and simplifies the entry point of business investment for this province in the future,” said him.
Since Lombok is an international airport, the carrier is also considering opening up more international routes from Lombok, such as to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and to China.
“We are also open to flying from Lombok to Europe,” McDougall added.