Historic Milestone: Direct Flights from India to Bali Open New Tourism Opportunities

Direct Flights from India to Bali Open New Tourism Opportunities
Direct Flights from India to Bali Open New Tourism Opportunities (photo: Gede Yoga - Unsplash)

Bali, the tropical paradise, has now become even more accessible for Indian tourists! The first-ever direct flight from India to Bali, operated by Vistara, made its historic landing in Bali on Friday (12/1/2023). This marks a significant milestone in the connection between India and Bali through non-stop flights.

Angkasa Pura I, the management authority of Ngurah Rai Bali Airport, confirmed that Vistara airline successfully landed in Bali with the Delhi-Bali-Delhi route on a Friday afternoon.

This direct flight link is a game-changer as it eliminates the need for connecting flights. Previously, travelers between India and Bali had to rely on connecting flights.

Vistara’s inaugural flight utilized an Airbus A321LR, marked with the flight number UK145, touching down on the runway of Ngurah Rai Bali Airport at 10:52 AM WITA. Departing from Indira Gandhi Airport in Delhi, India, at 01:12 local time, the flight carried a total of 185 passengers.

The commencement of this direct flight route is not only a breakthrough for travel convenience but is expected to have a profoundly positive impact on Bali’s tourism sector. Before the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, Indian tourists ranked third in terms of foreign arrivals in Bali, following Australian and Chinese tourists.

Faik Fahmi, the CEO of AP1, expressed great enthusiasm and optimism regarding the opening of this direct route. “Previously, there were no direct flights from India to Bali; only connecting flights were available. With the introduction of this direct flight route, we are confident it will significantly boost the number of Indian tourists visiting Bali,” Fahmi stated.

The Delhi-Bali-Delhi direct flight is scheduled to operate daily. Departing from Delhi at 00:30 local time, the UK145 flight is set to land in Bali at 11:05 AM WITA. Conversely, the return route, served by the UK146 flight, departs from Bali at 12:10 PM WITA, aiming to arrive in Delhi at 5:45 PM local time.

The official commencement of the Delhi-Bali-Delhi route operated by Vistara brings the total number of international flight routes at Ngurah Rai Bali Airport to an impressive 37, served by 37 different airlines.

Tourism Update: Foreign Tourist Arrivals in Bali

Simultaneously, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) of Bali Province shared insightful data on foreign tourist visits to Bali from January to October 2023. Over the span of 10 months, Bali has welcomed and served 4,388,698 foreign visitors.

According to Endang Retno Sri Subiyandani, the Head of BPS Bali, this figure represents 80 percent of the tourist conditions during the same period before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, showcasing an impressive increase of 194.33 percent compared to the same period in 2022.

The recorded 4.3 million visits account for 46.24 percent of the total foreign tourists who have visited Indonesia from January to October 2023. The overall visits to the country have reached 9,492,004.

While acknowledging that the recovery of visits to Bali hasn’t reached 100 percent, Endang emphasized that this narrow gap signifies a continuous improvement in the recovery process.

Looking ahead, the Bali Provincial Government has set a target for foreign tourist visits to surpass 4.5 million by the end of December. Considering the visit numbers until October, BPS Bali is optimistic about the feasibility of achieving this target.

Breaking down the monthly visits, October alone saw 461,441 foreign tourist visits, with the majority (458,845) arriving by air and 2,596 using sea transportation. This data suggests a promising trend in the ongoing recovery of tourism in Bali.