As demand for flights to Bali from Australia soars, travelers from the Gold Coast have a reason for celebration this week as Virgin Australia announces the first-ever Gold Coast to Bali flight schedule.
Until now, travelers from the Gold Coast who wanted to visit Bali had to travel over an hour north up the coast to Brisbane. Now, travelers from Gold Coast, Byron Bay, and surrounding areas will be able to fly directly to Denpasar in Bali.
The Gold Coast, Byron Bay, and Bali are known for having some of the best surf in the world. Thousands of Australians travel to the Bali coast each year in search of the perfect wave, Virgin Australia has announced that traveling with surfboards will not cost any extra on this route.
According to the Virgin Australia website ‘Surfboards enclosed in a protective hardcase bag, with fins removed, that weigh less than 23kg and are shorter than 3m incur no excess baggage fees and are considered part of your checked baggage allowance when you book a Choice or Flex fare with Virgin Australia,’ this is a huge incentive for surfers planning their visit to Bali next year.
Many airline carriers charge extra for surfboards which can consume a huge part of a travel budget. Destinations in Bali like Canggu and Uluwatu have plenty of time to prepare for an increased influx of surf travelers.
Virgin Australia is the first Australian-based airline to ever offer this direct service. The Gold Coast to Bali route will launch at the end of March 2023, in time for Bali’s 2023 peak season. Demand for holiday travel from the Gold Coast to Bali has skyrocketed in recent weeks. Analysts are comparing data from May and June 2019 to May and June 2022 in order to get an accurate scale of demand.
The CEO of Virgin Australia, Jayne Hrdlicka, told reporters that the demand for travel from Gold Coast has increased by 55%. She continued to say that flight bookings for Bali have increased 48% compared to the same time period in 2019.
At present, travelers heading to Bali from Gold Coast must lay over in Sydney or Melbourne, or drive to Brisbane to fly directly from there. This drive is widely acknowledged as being a real challenge for travelers, with traffic often causing massive delays.
Speaking on behalf of Main Beach Travel Advisors, Mike Dwyer told reporters that travel agents are seeing demand for travel hit pre-pandemic levels. He said ‘With demand exceeding supply, we are seeing airfares 40 percent higher than they were pre-Covid, I would imagine [the new service] would have some pretty good offers in place.’
The new direct flight service from Gold Coast to Bali will operate daily offering over 2200 seats a week. Flight time is just 6-hours and 35 minutes and prices can be found for as little as $399 AUD return.
All major airlines that have flight services to Bali are resuming or increasing their services to the island. In recent weeks Batik Air has resumed its flight route from Kuala Lumpur to Bali, and from Melbourne to Bali. The Melbourne to Bali route resumes its service on 17th June 2022 and will operate four times a week, to begin with.
Officials from Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport announced last week that the airport welcomed over one million passengers through the domestic and international terminals in May 2022. The airport saw a 64% increase in passengers from April to May with over 7,000 flights hitting the runway.
Although the vast majority of arrivals in Bali are domestic travelers from Java, international arrivals are on the rise. With the help of increased capacity and new flight routes such as Virgin Australia’s new Gold Coast to Bali journey, international arrivals will soon begin to compete with domestic travelers.
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