Sat, 29 Mar 2003

South Sulawesi to have two airlines

Makassar, South Sulawesi: South Sulawesi is expected to operate two airline companies this year in its effort to attract visitors to the province.

Governor Amin Syam said here on Friday that Celebes Airlines had started operation on Thursday with a maiden fight of a Boeing 737-200 aircraft from Makassar to Jakarta.

"The airline, with a capacity of more than 100 passengers, will also serve other routes to Timika and Jayapura in Papua. It will compete with the state-owned Garuda, Pelita and Merpati airlines and privately run Airfast and Cartenz airlines," he said, adding that the provincial administration holds 30 percent of the company's shares.

Amin said that in addition, Sulawesi Airlines was owned by the provincial administration and Bugis businessmen would start its operation this year to serve remote regencies in the province.

"Sulawesi Airlines will operate small-body aircraft to connect the city with Tana Toraja, Selayar, Mamuju, Malili and Masamba," he said.

The airline businesses are expected to spur the tourism industry in the province," he added. -- JP