Vietnam’s low-budget airline VietJet has announced that their Bali-Vietnam route has resumed. This comes as welcome news for international tourism companies and local Balinese business owners alike. The re-opening of the Bali-Vietnam route reflects a huge step forward in a more globalized re-opening of international travel. This signals an increase in confidence from governments and travel authorities that the COVID-19 restrictions may be moving towards a more definitive end.
The President of Angkasa Pura I for Bali Ngurah Rai Airport, Faik Fahmi, confirmed that VietJet has officially landed its first flight to Bali Airport on Thursday 28th April. The route was canceled in early 2020 during the first lockdown. It came less than a year into the route’s operation. The Bali-Vietnam route was opened for operation in May 2019 and was hailed as an important step forward for travel within South East Asia.
The Bali-Vietnam route is specifically from Ho Chi Minh to Denpasar. Ho Chi Minh, previously known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam. It is Vietnam’s economic center and is famous for its buzzing nightlife scene, hectic traffic, and stunning temples and pagodas. Vietnam had had one of the strictest entry policies for travelers during the height of the pandemic. It appears that regulations are starting to relax, making it easier for travelers to visit Vietnam, and for those in Vietnam to travel and safely return.
Indonesian passport holders can visit Vietnam for up to 30-day for business or tourism purposes visa-free. Likewise, Vietnamese passport holders can visit Indonesia for up to 30-days without applying for a visa prior to their visit. Ho Chi Minh is a bustling international, metropolitan city. There is a significant ex-pat community there and dozens of highly regarded international schools. This recommencement of the VeitJet Bali-Ho Chi Minh route is a really positive step for both the Indonesian and Vietnamese travel and tourism sector.
With the VietJet route now operating regularly, Ngurah Rai Airport is now running ten international flight routes every week. These routes include Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Doha, Istanbul, Perth, Bangkok, and now Ho Chi Minh too. This latest development will be well received by young backpackers whose gap year travels have been put on hold due to the pandemic. Ho Chi Minh is considered a must-visit for young, culture-hungry backpackers who want to balance sightseeing with partying. Bali is often the first stop on a worldwide journey for thousands of backpackers every year.
After a slow and uncertain start, Bali is definitely open for business. Travelers are wasting no time in getting themselves to the Island of the Gods. Over the Eid Al-Fitr weekend, record numbers of tourists traveled to Sanur to jump aboard the fast boats to Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan.
VietJet’s offering of affordable flights for travelers from Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia has a huge impact on the economy in Bali and the surrounding islands. Kuala Lumpur is just a 3-hour flight away, and Ho Chi Minh is 3-hours and 50-minutes, these short hop flights are ideal for those located across South East Asia who want a quick weekend getaway. We can expect to see dozens of hotel deals popping up for travelers heading to these destinations from Bali too.
Though ten international routes may seem like a low number, these routes offer direct access to Bali for hundreds of thousands of travelers. Direct flights from Singapore, Tokyo, Doha, Kuala Lumpur, and Istanbul enables hundred of thousands more travelers to travel to Bali with just one flight layover. Travelers from North, Central, and South America can layover in Tokyo or Singapore, while travelers from Europe or Africa can layover in Doha or Istanbul with ease.
Since the reopening of I Ngurah Rai Airport on the 3rd February 2022, 859 flights have already passed through the runway. A total of 79,326 passengers have landed and just over 50,000 have departed.
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