The Christmas holidays are in full swing in Bali. With celebrations underway across the island, the vibes are high…and busy.
Officials have confirmed that the number of arrivals has already exceeded predictions.
On Friday 22nd December a whopping 73,377 passengers travelled through Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport across the international and domestic terminals.
Bali Airport typically serves around 30,000 passengers a day on inbound and outbound flights across the two main terminals.
The General Manager of Ngurah Rai Airport, Handy Heryudhitiawan, revealed the details of the huge surge in passenger growth seen since the start of the Christmas holiday period.
On 19th December, 60,001 passengers arrived officially kicking off the festive holidays, this increased to a further 62,610 passengers on 20th December 2023, reaching 65,941 passengers on 21st December 2023.
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The peak day for arrivals was Friday 22nd December with just as many arrivals landing at Bali Airport over the Christmas Eve weekend.
Heryudhitiawan said “Of the total passengers, 37,350 were domestic passengers, while 36,027 were international passengers. “Of this number, the portion of arriving passengers still dominates, namely 39,931 people and departing passengers 32,996 people, both domestic and international.”
Bali Immigration and security forces have set up a temporary station at Bali Airport to be on hand to help manage the influx of arrivals.
The Nataru Post, named after the Indonesian word for the Christmas holidays, will be monitoring the movement of travelers carefully to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Heryudhitiawan added “As of the fourth day of the Nataru Post, there were 261,929 passengers traveling from and through Ngurah Rai Airport. This figure increased by 18% compared to last year’s Nataru Post period or 221,596 passengers.”
“Meanwhile the number of aircraft movements also grew by 12% or 1,470 aircraft movements last year to 1,650 aircraft movements in this year’s Command Post period.”
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The busiest flight route at the airport is the domestic route between Jakarta and Bali, closely followed by Surabaya to Denpasar.
The busiest international route has been from Singapore, followed by Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne.
Over the festive season, Bali Airport will be facilitating over 425 plane movements every day.
Bali Airport is receiving the bulk of arrivals over Christmas and through to the New Year but Gilimanuk Harbour is also receiving a huge surge in arrivals too.
On Friday 22nd December Acting Governor of Bali Sang Made Mahendra Jaya checked the situation over at Gilimanuk Port for himself.
During his visit, the Acting Governor reviewed the readiness of transportation facilities and infrastructure to support the smooth travel of the community during the Christmas 2023 and New Year 2024 (Nataru) periods.
Speaking separately the Minister of Transportation Budi Karya said that a number of improvements and service improvements had been carried out at Ketapang and Gilimanuk Ports to anticipate the increased passenger activity during the Christmas season.
For the Ketapang port, the ferry port management service has increased ship capacity from 10,685 small vehicles in 2022 to 12,885 small vehicles in 2023. This is a huge surge in the number of vehicles on Bali’s roads.
With this in mind tourists across Bali are advised to leave plenty of time when traveling by road from attraction to attraction, destination to destination.
Officials have confirmed that more traffic officers will be deployed across the island to try and keep traffic moving.
Officers will be on patrol 24 hours a day, working across three shifts in Bali’s most congested areas to control the flow of traffic and hopefully avoid bottlenecks or gridlock.
However, for anyone making a time-sensitive journey, such as returning to the airport or to Sanur Habor to make the crossing to the Nusa or Gili Islands, it is advisable to leave plenty of extra time to accommodate for any delays on the roads.
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