Skip to Content

Despite Big Changes, Bali Flights With 3 Major Airlines Won’t Decrease Anytime Soon

Share The Article

As the Indonesian government announces that three of the state-owned airlines will be merged, travel lovers are questioning whether the move will help decrease flight tickets to and from Bali.

The government is seeking to merge Garuda Indonesia, Citilink, and Pelita Air to reduce logistical running costs. 

Garuda Citilink PLane Takes Off.jpg

Speaking to reporters this week, the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Erick Thohir, outlined why the government plans to merge Garuda Indonesia, Citilink, and Pelita Air.

He revealed that the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises “continues to reduce logistics costs—Pelindo from four companies into one. Previously, logistics costs reached 23 percent; now, it is 11 percent. We are also trying to merge Pelita Air, Citilink, and Garuda to reduce costs.”

Despite speculation that the merger may, in the long term, help reduce flight costs across the board, Aviation expert Alvin Lie shared with reporters why that may not be the case.

He shared openly and directly that the merger will not reduce airplane tickets, largely due to the three airlines targeting three different demographics and flight routes. 

Generally speaking, Garuda Indonesia has targeted high-budget travelers, those who seek full-service airlines.

Whereas Citilink has traditionally targeted mid-budget consumers in both the domestic and international market, and Pelita Air has targeted low-budget travelers with a stronger focus on domestic services. 

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans For 2023 Starting At $10 Per Week

Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

In fact, Lie expressed fears that the merger won’t decrease flight costs for travelers but risks increasing costs and inefficiencies for the airlines.

An issue that will invariably have a knock-on effect for travelers. Lie said, “Can [this] make flight fares more affordable? No. Instead, I’m worried it will be inefficient.”

He shared, “Logistics costs are not only transportation costs. Warehousing costs, cargo terminals, loading and unloading costs, cargo agent service fees, EMKL/EMKU, and so on, how about that? It’s useless to [to try and] control airplane ticket prices, [if] airport fees keep going up, and out of control.” 

So what will the merger of Garuda Indonesia, Citilink, and Pelita Air mean for tourists planning their trips to Bali?

From a passenger perspective, the merger will have no impact on flight services or quality of experience.

At present, there are no public plans to merge the booking platforms or customer services of the three airlines.

The merger, in its most simple form, is a business move. However, if Lie’s predictions come true, ticket prices across the three airlines may change once the merger is complete. 


Garuda Indonesia is the country’s national airline and is the airline of choice for thousands of Bali-bound travelers every month.

Earlier this year, Garuda Indonesia increased its flight services from Australia to Bali in light of ever-increasing demand. Tourists from Australia remain the most frequent international arrivals in Bali. 

Garuda Indonesia now flies to and from the Island of the Gods four times a week. The GA715 flight service departs from Sydney International Airport at 10.05 am every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The homeward flight departs from Denpasar every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and Sunday at 11.40 pm, landing in Sydney at 7.25 am the following morning. 


Due to high demand, Garuda also increased the flight frequency for its Bali-Melbourne route. Since early April, the route has been operating twice weekly, every Friday and Saturday. 

Citilink, once only considered a domestic airline, has massively improved its international flight services this year.

Citilink now flies daily between Perth and Bali, giving holidaymakers even more choice and plenty of good flight deals to entice them back to the Island of the Gods. 

Citilink Airplane On Runway At Bali Airport

Management at Bali Airport has confirmed that as demand for travel on the island grows, teams are constantly working behind the scenes to bring more flight services to passengers.

Speaking in early August, the General Manager of Bali Airport, Handy Heryudhitiawan, said, “We are intensively coordinating with relevant stakeholders in order to open new routes to Bali. 

He added, “We are optimistic that we can provide services to 20 million passengers in 2023.” 

Remove All Ads & Unlock All Articles… Sign up for The Bali Sun Premium

Plan Your Bali Holiday:
Book The Best English Speaking Drivers For Airport Transfers & Tours
Choose From Thousands of Bali Hotels, Resorts, and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
Book Cheap Flights To Bali
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance That Covers Medical Expenses In Bali

For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community


Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.


Sunday 27th of August 2023

It will have little or no effect on ticket prices. Any savings will probably go to reduce debt. At the end of March it was US$5.1 billion and had risen to to US$7.89 billion by the end of June.


Monday 28th of August 2023

@Shorty, In their yet again bail out conditions Garuda have very stringent performance parameters aimed at debt reduction as opposed to revenue increase. Tightening, reducing and cancelling GFF obligations is one prime target. The fleet has been drastically cut as have forward orders. Yes flight numbers and routes have been cut. They've wisely decided to concentrated on the major local markets like Australia. My understanding is the load factors are very high, making those flights more profitable. At this stage increasing flights and dropping prices could be suicide. Air Asia, Jetstar, Batik/Malindo.....have taken a strangle hold on the cheap end. Garuda doesn't have the funds or access to the funds to lose money to buy back into this market. They've wisely reduced their European flights and destinations.Priced and scheduled out of the market. Hard to see how common branding and logistics will help. A common booking portal will save bugger all. The necessary maintenance facilities already exist. Maybe adjusting fleets so that there's more commonality with aircraft, so maintenance, parts, knowledge... The only thing maybe is the combination of balance sheets makes Garuda appear to look better. To me it's just the old fallacious 'change the name' crap. It means nothing for example to the Australian tourist, and a local now flying Citilink or Pelita probably couldn't give a crap as long as they get there and at the normal reasonable price. Another old marketing maxim. Garuda is a product looking for a market. And finally something that's got me and could be a big opportunity. I hate flying overnight, and only use Crapstar when absolutely necessary. Jetstar has started a daytime Sydney flight.

John Browning

Sunday 27th of August 2023

We can’t even get Garuda flights from Perth in order to use flight credits issued during Covid. It’s a deliberate ploy to wait until December, when they will expire and they keep millions of dollars of cancelled fares!


Saturday 26th of August 2023

Merger to reduce logistics costs? That is not solving the real problem at hand.

Garuda ticket prices are actually quite a bit higher that tickets in high cost northern Europe over the same distance. The issue with Garuda is massive corruption over the last 15 years or so having brought Garuda to it's knees. Just search google for "garuda ceo corruption" to read for yourself. How was this blatant corruption allowed to go on unchecked for years? This is really shameful. I should get a refund for all the overpriced tickets I have bought with Garuda over the years. Who do I contact?


Sunday 27th of August 2023

@Exp, Contact Mr. Koster in his office. He is a very clever man.