Belitung (ANTARA News) - Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has cancelled an inaugural flight event to be held for Garuda Indonesias new flight route between Singapore and Belitung, as a gesture of empathy towards the Lion Air JT610 crash tragedy.
"My visit to Belitung was, in fact, to attend the scheduled inaugural flight event. The flight will still operate, but we refrain from organizing a celebration, as we need to offer our sympathies over what happened," Minister Yahya stated at the Eco Beach Tent Bay Billiton in Tanjung Kelayang, Belitung, Monday.
Yahya was scheduled to welcome the inaugural flight with a series of ceremonial events, but following the crash of the Lion Air JT 610 plane, the events were cancelled.
This was especially relevant, considering the fact that the ill-fated aircraft, with over 180 passengers aboard, was en route to the province where the minister was currently in.
"I offer my deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims," he remarked.
The minister further confirmed he will still welcome the inaugural flight but only without any special events.
"The ceremonial events are cancelled, but we will still congratulate them. This is a mark of sympathy over what occurred this morning," he remarked.
Garuda Indonesias Singapore-Belitung flights will be operating four times a week and expected to further boost tourism by improving air connectivity to Bangka Belitung Province.
Source: ANTARA News