Australia’s low-cost airline Jetstar has announced that it will be pausing a popular route to Bali later this year.
The service will be halted for a month as the airline reveals there is a lack of clarity around scheduling.
The move throws travel plans into uncertainty for thousands of travelers planning their trips to Bali later this year. Jetstar has announced that it has stopped selling seats for the Darwin-Bali route between 9th October and 8th November 2023.
The decision has been made in light of uncertainty at Darwin Airport regarding construction plans and potential operational overhaul.
In a statement, Jetstar revealed, “We have temporarily stopped selling direct flights between Darwin and Denpasar scheduled from October 9 to November 8 due to potential runway works by the Department of Defense.”
The statement continues, “While the dates and times of the runway works have not yet been confirmed, we have proactively stopped selling flights during this period to limit the number of customers potentially affected.”
Jetstar operates flights from key locations across Australia to Bali every day, though the budget airline regularly faces backlash online about the number of delayed and canceled flights, especially on Bali routes.
The airline added, “If the works do not go ahead on these dates, we will put the flights back on sale.” The Department of Defense in Australia has also issued statements regarding the proposed construction works at Darwin Airport.
The Undersecretary for Defense, Matt Thistlethwaite, told reporters, “There have been talks between DoD and the airport management to ensure that the impact is minimal for civil aviation during construction and also for those coming to Darwin, which is important for the local economy.”
He added, “This is an important project; we are trying to do our best and finish the talks as soon as possible because we want the project to start as soon as possible.”
Travelers from the Northern Territory keen to visit Bali in October and November may have to factor in a more roundabout journey to the Island of the Gods.
Though travelers, the airline and tourism stakeholders in Bali remain hopeful that the flights will be put back on sale or that alternative solutions will come available.
@faizalmaulana_22 Salah satu tempat terindah saat landing 😍🛬 #Bali ♬ original sound – Ian Asher
The news comes just as links between Australia and Indonesia have been strengthened once again.
The low-cost Indonesian airline Citilink has this week announced new international flight services between Western Australia and Bali.
Starting this month, Citilnk will operate a daily service between Perth and Denpasar. The news of the increased connection between Bali and Australia has been welcomed by the travel industry.
Perth Airport’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Kate Holsgrove, told the press, “It’s great that Citilink is returning, especially given that these services will bring almost 190,000 additional seats to the market.”
Citilink has also launched a new service from Perth to Jakarta that will operate three times weekly.
The airline has announced that it will start a new flight route between Bali and Papua New Guinea this month. Tourism leaders hope this service will too strengthen relations between the two countries.
Travelers from Australia remain the most frequent international arrivals in Bali. Latest travel data from Bali revealed that Austrian travelers made up 24.3% of all international arrivals into Bali Airport in May 2023.
The Head of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) for Bali Province, Endang Retno Sri Subiyandani, revealed this week that in May this year Bali welcomed 106,641 Australian travelers.
In second place were Indian tourists, with 48,300 arrivals, followed by tourists from China, with 23,530 arrivals.
The fourth most frequent visitors to Bali in May were from the USA, a total of 23,512 tourists, followed by travelers from the UK, with 23,272 visits. The BPS reveals travel data every month, with a month lag.
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