Indonesia's Olympic badminton gold medallist Susy Susanti, right, and the Governor of Yogyakarta, Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, second from right, travel in the Torch Relay convoy at the Indonesian Air Force base after the flame for Jakarta Palembang 2018 arri

The flame for the 18th Asian Games arrived in Indonesia this morning at the Indonesian Air Force base of Adisutjipto Airport in Yogyakarta in Central Java.

The Indonesian Air Force Boeing jet, escorted by five Golden Eagle fighters in formation, touched down exactly at the scheduled time of 8am to bring the Asian Games flame back from New Delhi in India, where it had been lit on Sunday (July 15), ready to start the Torch Relay on Thursday (July 19).

The flame was carried off the plane by Indonesia’s Torch ambassador, Susy Susanti, the 1992 Olympic Games badminton champion, and was greeted by a group led by the Governor of Yogyakarta, Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, and the President of Jakarta Palembang 2018 Erick Thohir.

The ceremony included a dragon dance, a traditional Yogyakarta welcoming dance by eight performers, a paragliding show, gun salute, military band and a fly past by the Indonesian Air Force’s acrobatics fighter jet squadron.

"I think it is good to have this kind of ceremony to light up the atmosphere and the awareness of the people," said Thohir.

"The Games will be starting soon and then the Torch Relay will be starting in the next two days. 

"We chose Yogyakarta because it is a city with a lot of history, one of the Kingdoms in Indonesia, and also at the same time it is famous as a city of tourism.

"We have the Borobudur Temple, one of the seven wonders, so I think it is good to start from here. "

Thohir added: "It is good also that the government of Yogyakarta fully supports the event, and the Indonesian Air Force is supporting the Torch Relay by providing not only the plane but also the army to look after all the travel around Indonesia. 

"We are going to travel 18,000 kilometres and it is not easy.”

Ths 2018 Asian Games is due to take place from August 18 until September 2 with 40 sports, 67 disciplines and 465 events and will be co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang, capital of South Sumatra province.

Now the FIFA World Cup is over, Thohir feels the Indonesian people are ready to turn their attentions to the Asian Games. 

"When the Torch Relay is happening, I think now many of the people are excited already - it is coming at the right time," he said.

"After a concert at the Prambanan Hindu Temple tomorrow, the Torch Relay is due to start Thursday with the first leg from Yogyakarta to Solo. 

In total it will travel through 54 cities in 18 provinces of the vast archipelago of Indonesia.