Bali’s Air Travel Surges, Four International Airlines Set to Expand Operations

I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, Bali

Bali is witnessing a notable uptick in foreign tourist arrivals in the wake of the pandemic, attracting the interest of several international airlines. In a significant development, at least four airlines have expressed their intentions to enhance their flight schedules to and from Bali.

During the ceremonial groundbreaking event for the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility at Ngurah Rai Airport in Badung, Bali, Handy Heryudhitiawan, the General Manager, shared insights into these upcoming developments.

Specifically, Xiamen Airlines is poised to increase its flights originating from various cities in China, with this expansion set to commence in early December 2023. This news signifies a positive momentum, highlighting Bali’s continued allure for international airlines.

In addition to Xiamen Airlines, Handy has been actively engaging with carriers from the United Arab Emirates and India, including Etihad Airways, Vistara, and IndiGo. All four airlines have been making regular landings at Ngurah Rai Airport since the resumption of international routes post-COVID-19. The anticipated increase in flights from these airlines is anticipated to kick off in the early months of 2024.

“This serves as compelling evidence that Bali’s market remains resilient, with some airlines contemplating upgrading to larger aircraft,” Handy emphasized.

Ngurah Rai Airport currently serves as the operational base for 36 international airlines, catering to 30 different routes. Additionally, 13 domestic airlines operate at the airport, offering 19 routes within Indonesia. The airport is a bustling hub, managing an average of 65 thousand passengers and facilitating 400 aircraft movements on a daily basis.

Apart from the confirmed participation of the four international airlines, Handy recently received news that Emirates’ Airbus A380, the world’s largest aircraft, has formally requested additional slots.

“Bali made history on June 1, 2023, becoming the first Indonesian airport to welcome the Airbus A380, and it has been operating successfully ever since. Now, there’s news that Airbus A380 is seeking additional slots,” he disclosed.

To cope with the escalating airport traffic, Angkasa Pura I has devised plans to optimize existing areas. Handy acknowledged that, while there might be constraints in terms of immediate expansion due to budget limitations, the strategically prepared reclamation land would undoubtedly be leveraged in the future to address the growing demands at Ngurah Rai Airport.