With the completion of the brand new terminal at Matahora Airport on the Wakatobi chain of islands, - renowned underwater paradise in Southeast Sulawesi, - the local government now spurs airlines to operate Bali-Wakatobi flights direct to allow tourists direct access to these breath-taking islands. At present visitors must fly from Jakarta or Bali to Makassar then transit to Kendari to take a smaller aircraft to Wakatobi making this a most tedious journey.
Regional Secretary of the Regency of Wakatobi, Sudjiton told detik.Finance that the regency is willing to subsidize airlines who will fly direct to Wakatobi.
The Airport Authority added that plans are also afoot to extend the runway from the present 2,000 meters to 2,500 meters to receive larger aircrafts. The present apron which today accommodates 4 planes will also be expanded.
The new, modern terminal building now occupies 1,524 sq meters to handle 130 passengers at once.
At the moment, Wings Air is the only airline that flies to the Matahora airport of Wakatobi from the provincial capital Kendari, serving the route once daily using ATR25-600/700 planes.
Located on the southern end of the province of Southeast Sulawesi, the wonderful Wakatobi islands are a National Marine Park made up of 143 larger and smaller islands where only 7 are inhabited. It comprises a total of 1.4 million hectares, of which 900,000 hectares are decorated with different, colorful species of tropical coral reefs. Wakatobi is widely recognized as having the highest number of reef and fish species in the world.
The islands are also famous as the largest barrier reef in Indonesia, second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Here can be found fringing, atolls and barrier reefs and offer more than 50 spectacular dive sites easily accessible from the major islands. This is the habitat of large and small fish species, the playground of dolphins, turtles and even whales.