Garuda Indonesia Eyes More International Flights from Bali

The airline hopes to boost the numbers of visitor arrivals from countries like the United States and India.

The international terminal at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. (Photo: joakimbkk/iStock)

Irfan Setiaputra, the CEO of Indonesia’s national carrier, has outlined plans to operate long-haul flights between Bali and cities as far away as the U.S. West Coast. According to online news portal, the Garuda boss made the announcement yesterday during a hearing at the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) in Jakarta. Irfan said the flag carrier was in agreement with the Tourism Ministry that launching direct international services to and from Denpasar was one of the clearest ways to attract more tourists to Indonesia during the post-Covid-19 recovery period.

While at the DPR, he mentioned four destinations by name: Los Angeles and San Francisco in the United States, along with the Indian megacities of Mumbai and Delhi. Paris was also included by implication as the airline executive talked about launching flights between Bali and France. He explained that Garuda had decided on a handful of cities because tourists from these places had the potential to bring in a lot of foreign currency. “America and Europe have much larger spending capabilities compared to some other countries [and regions],” Irfan said. “They also have the ability to use more time [on holidays], around two weeks.”

The Garuda CEO did not give details about when these routes would begin operating, but he did say that schedules would be designed to give long-haul travelers more time on the ground. “In the future, for the sake of the tourism industry, we will focus more on direct flights to and from Bali … so tourists will land before noon and depart Bali at night,” Irfan added. “Between checkout from the hotel and the journey to the airport, they can spend their budget on other needs while in Bali.”

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