2 International Airports in Central Java Without International Flights Despite International Status


Two major international airports in Central Java are still awaiting regular international flights, despite already holding international status. Ahmad Yani Semarang Airport and Adi Soemarmo Surakarta Airport are both primed for international travel, yet direct flights to and from abroad have not yet materialized.

Speaking on Tuesday (5/3/2024), Sujarwanto Dwiatmoko, the Economic and Development Assistant of the Central Java Provincial Secretariat in Semarang, expressed the province’s eagerness to see these airports utilized for international flights. “Given their international status, it’s imperative that these airports serve international routes,” he emphasized.

The Central Java Provincial Government has been actively advocating for direct international flights to both airports, recognizing the potential they hold for bolstering tourism and economic growth in the region. However, as of now, these efforts have not borne fruit.

Despite the absence of direct international flights, Central Java continues to attract foreign tourists, many of whom arrive via Yogyakarta International Airport before exploring the diverse array of tourist destinations in the province. This underscores the untapped potential for international travel in Central Java.

Meanwhile, statistics from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) of Central Java shed light on the current state of air travel in the province. Out of the six airports scattered across Central Java, only Semarang Airport and Surakarta Airport cater to passenger arrivals and departures.

According to Dadang Hardiwan, the Head of BPS Central Java, passenger arrivals through Semarang and Surakarta Airports in January 2024 totaled 122,636 individuals. Among these arrivals were 1,293 passengers on international flights bound for Jeddah.

It’s worth noting that direct flights to Saudi Arabia from Surakarta Airport primarily serve Umrah pilgrims, with departure schedules typically arranged for weekends. This indicates a specific niche in international travel that Central Java could potentially tap into further.

In terms of passenger departures, the data shows that 114,128 individuals departed from Semarang and Surakarta Airports during January 2024. Notably, 1,057 of these passengers were Umrah pilgrims returning from Jeddah.

While Central Java’s international airports await the commencement of regular international flights, efforts to promote tourism and economic development in the region remain ongoing. The potential for international travel in Central Java is immense, and the establishment of direct international routes would undoubtedly unlock new opportunities for growth and connectivity.