Jakarta. National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia will increase its regular flights between Denpasar, Bali, and Melbourne to eight per week on Dec. 15 to cater to growing demand from Australians wishing to visit the holiday island.
The carrier will add one additional weekly flight, which will operate on Fridays. Flights will depart from Denpasar at 9:00 a.m. and arrive in Melbourne at 4:35 p.m.
"We hope the additional flight frequency will accommodate the increasing number of tourists from Australia, especially Melbourne," Nina Sulistyowati, marketing and information technology director at Garuda Indonesia, said in a statement on Wednesday (12/10).
She said the additional flight is part of the company's efforts to support the Ministry of Tourism's target of attracting 20 million foreign tourists to Indonesia annually by 2019.
Garuda Indonesia currently operates 34 weekly flights to Australia, with four between Jakarta and Melbourne, four between Jakarta and Perth, five between Jakarta and Sydney, seven between Denpasar and Perth, seven between Denpasar and Sydney, and seven between Denpasar and Melbourne.
The airline uses Airbus 330-200/300 aircraft with a capacity of 287 seats on all routes, except the Jakarta-Perth route, for which it uses Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft with a capacity of 162 seats.
Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data shows that the number of Australian tourist arrivals in Bali grew 0.26 percent to 743,860 in the first eight months of this year, compared with the corresponding period last year.
Bali Remains Safe
Nina said tourism in Bali is still growing and that the number of visitors from Australia remains high. The load factor on Garuda Indonesia's Australian flights currently stands at between 75 percent and 87 percent.
Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) announced on Oct. 5 that it has extended a state of emergency for Mount Agung in Bali until Oct. 16 amid the ongoing risk of a volcanic eruption.
However, the Bali Tourism Board assured domestic and foreign visitors to the island that they do not need to worry as tourist attractions, including Sanur, Kuta and Jimbaran, are quite far from Mount Agung and therefore safe.
"As a national airline, we are always ready and will continue to support Bali tourism," Nina said.