Garuda will add additional flights to Lombok for MotoGP
Jakarta. Garuda Indonesia, the country’s flag carrier, plans to add additional flights to and from Zainuddin Abdul Madjid Lombok International Airport in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, to accommodate Moto GP fans who wish to watch the motorcycle race on day but are unable to book a hotel on the island.
“We have prepared several additional flights to Lombok from Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali on [race] day, then [fans] leaving early in the morning, returning after the main race or in the evening,” Irfan Setiaputra, CEO of Garuda Indonesia, told Globe-affiliated Berita Satu TV on Wednesday.
The Mandalika circuit in Lombok will host the second series of MotoGP races from March 18-20. This will be the first time the circuit has hosted a MotoGP event.
Hotels on the island were full, with over 100,000 team members and visitors expected to watch the race. According to the West Lombok district tourism department, 2,000 hotel rooms in the Senggigi area, about an hour and a half from Mandalika, are already full around the date of the race.
The tourism department said it was preparing to turn locals’ homes into temporary homestays to welcome more tourists to the island.
Even with the extra bedroom from homestays, concerns about the lack of accommodation on the island remain. So Garuda said he would prepare additional flights for potential spectators who had to stay in Bali, Surabaya or Jakarta, Irfan said.
It only takes 40 minutes flight from Bali to Lombok and about 30 minutes drive from Lombok airport to Mandalika circuit. Flights from Jakarta and Surabaya take two and one hours respectively.
“We are committed to fully supporting MotoGP. So beforehand, we apologize to potential passengers because before MotoGP, the frequency of other routes is reduced for the success of MotoGP,” Irfan said.