Indonesia’s national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has announced plans for a range of new direct flight services, connecting Bali to the USA, France and India. With the island expected to welcome back international tourists from September onwards, the new services offer further cause for optimism.
The airline is currently finalising its plans with Indonesia’s Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) and Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry. All three parties are eager to ink the deal as soon as possible, to help revive Bali’s tourism sector after a long fallow period due to the lockdown.
“Garuda and the Tourism Ministry have agreed that the only way to boost foreign tourist visits is by introducing direct flights to Denpasar,” said Garuda president director Irfan Setiaputra during a hearing with the House of Representatives’ Commission responsible for tourism in Indonesia this Tuesday (7/7). “Hopefully, we can make it through this crisis and start direct flights from countries that have large spending capabilities,” he added.
International arrivals will officially return to Bali from 11th September onwards. These will be subjected to COVID-19 safety screening and protocols at the pre-departure, tour and departure stages, effectively creating a travel bubble to ensure the health and safety of travellers, locals and industry operatives. Under the new plan from the country’s tourism ministry and aviation sector, Bali would become the main arrivals hub for international visitors in Indonesia, replacing the capital city, Jakarta.
As the island takes centre stage for Indonesia’s international tourism revival, the island and its airlines are busy making preparations. “We’ll also fit the schedule to accommodate tourists with morning arrivals and evening departures, so they can spend most of their time on the island,” said Irfan, in a statement quoted by the Jakarta Post today (9/7).
According to recent data from Indonesia’s national statistics agency (BPS), Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport handled more than half of all foreign tourist arrivals and 38% of inbound traffic in 2019. The island’s arrivals dropped by almost 100% in May, as the island closed to curb the spread of COVID-19, while Indonesia suffered an 86.9% drop in tourist arrivals compared to the same period in the previous year.
To ensure the health and safety of international visitors when they return to Indonesia, Panorama Destination has partnered with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) on their ‘Safe Travels’ campaign. For more information about how these actions will help to keep clients safe, click here.