AIR New Zealand will operate direct twice-weekly services between Auckland and Denpasar, for a start only during the peak period from June to October.
The new service, using a Boeing 767- 300 aircraft, will add some 600 weekly seats to the island during the peak international and domestic holiday season when rooms, especially in Bali’s south like Kuta and Tuban, are usually crowded.
As it cuts the travel time by at least four hours, the trade sees it as an opportunity to boost traffic from New Zealand.
“Travellers from New Zealand previously needed 12-14 hours to get to Bali without a direct flight, averaging about 700 passengers per week. With the direct eight-hour flight, we are confident we can double the number,” said Herdy Sayoga, Bali Village marketing group executive director. Bali Village will work with Air New Zealand on a roadshow in Auckland this May to drum up support for the direct service.
Concerns of overcrowding in Bali are dismissed by the trade, which contends the island can accommodate the expected influx of travellers from the new service.
Ismullah Lahsin, general manager of White Rose Bali Hotel & Villas and Sun Island Boutique Villa & Spa, said: “Generally, there is a room crunch in Bali, especially in the southern area, and the domestic market is huge. On the other hand, there are many new two- and three-star hotels opening in areas off the beachfront, and the domestic market likes to stay there.”
Nia Niscaya, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy director of international promotion, said the direct flight offers “the opportunity to boost the (New Zealand) market”.
“Hopefully the flights will not stop after one season only,” she said.
Read the full report in TTG Asia, March 9, 2012
Read the full report in ITB Berlin