As the peak tourism season is well underway in Bali, I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport celebrates the return of two more major international airlines and hits the milestone of serving 48 international flight schedules.
The increased availability of flights will be well received by the Indonesian authorities who were becoming concerned that demand for flights has been outweighing supply resulting in a slower economic recovery from the pandemic than hoped.
Since the reopening of borders in February 2022, Bali Airport has taken the time to celebrate the return of all major international airlines to the runway. Giant international flight providers like Emirates and Virgin Australia have been welcomed back to Denpasar with water cannon salutes and even a personal appearance from the island’s Governor Wayan Koster.
On Friday 1st July Ngurah Rai Airport celebrated the return of Indonesia’s national airline, Garuda Indonesia, with the resumption of first international route, Singapore to Denpasar. On Saturday 2nd July the airport was able to celebrate once again, this time welcoming the return of Philippine Airlines.
The Philippines national airline has reopened the Manila to Denpasar route, safely transporting 192 passengers from Manilla to the Island of the Gods.
The return of a direct flight to Bali from the Philippines is a significant turning point. Although Australians make up the largest proportion of international visitors, closely followed by the UK, Singapore, the USA, and India, tourism markets from neighboring countries in South East Asia should not to be overlooked.
In 2019, Bali welcomed 340,000 passengers from the Philippines who headed to the Island of the Gods for both business and tourism purposes.
The General Manager of I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, Handy Heryudhitiawan, spoke with much enthusiasm to local reporters over the weekend.
He said ‘“The operation of the international routes Singapore – Denpasar with Garuda Indonesia, and Manila – Denpasar with Philippine Airlines is a positive signal that the aviation world is slowly starting to bounce back. With the addition of these two routes, currently I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport serves 46 departure schedules and 48 international arrival schedules in total’.
Of these weekly 46 departure schedules and 48 international arrival schedules are 19 different international routes to 11 countries. There are now 21 airlines serving destinations worldwide. Heryudhitiawan explained to reported that in June 2022, Ngurah Rai Airport welcomed over 365,178 international arrivals which is an increase from the previous months.
Heryudhitiawan went on to echo the hopes of the tourism industry at large to say that ‘we hope that this number [of passengers] will continue to grow along with the increasing number of routes served at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport’.
Last week Emirates Airlines resumed a daily flight schedule to Bali direct from Dubai. The carrier had resumed the Dubai-Bali route five times weekly as of the 1st May 2022 and in light of increased demand has been able to extend its scheduled offering. The Dubai-Denpasar route is not only a convenience for travelers from the United Arab Emirates but also makes it increasingly easier for European travelers to layover on their way to Bali.
The layover time from many of Europe’s major cities in Dubai, along the route to Bali, is often a little over 2-hours and breaks the trip up into two roughly 8-hour legs. Since reopening the Dubai-Bali route has carried over 29,000 passengers and completed 73 flights in a little over 60-days.
Airlines such as Virgin Australia have also been welcomed back to Bali in recent weeks and have made some exciting announcements for Australian travelers. Virgin Australia recently announced a direct Gold Coast-Bali flight schedule that will be launching in early 2023, with tickets available as of now. Currently, Virgin Australia flies directly to Denpasar from Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne.