New flights a win for Indonesia

DRIVEN by recent additions in flight capacity, Indonesia is witnessing a boost in inbound arrivals from Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Vietnam Airlines began four times a week Ho Chi Minh City-Jakarta flights last December, complementing AirAsia’s four-weekly flights on the same route.

Panorama Destination managing director, Raka Ramayana, said: “We started to penetrate the market last year and, this month, we are seeing (our efforts) materialise …thanks to (Vietnam Airlines’) new service between Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City.”

Philippine Airlines commenced a Manila-Bali service last April in addition to its Manila-Jakarta route, and Cebu Pacific is planning to fly twice-weekly to Bali from March 15.

Bhara Tours managing director, Herman Rukmanadi, said: “We’ve seen growth in the Philippines market for Jakarta and Bali, and recently had 80 travellers staying in Bali for two nights.”

In December, Garuda Indonesia increased its Jakarta-Bangkok flights from twice to thrice-daily, with a load factor of about 79 per cent. It plans to begin a Bangkok-Bali service in September.

Herman said: “We’ve seen significant growth in traffic from Thailand in the last two years, and we expect more growth this year with Garuda’s additional frequency between Jakarta and Bangkok.

“The additional morning flight gives travellers the flexibility of staying in Jakarta for two nights and flying to Bali to spend another two nights.”

Buyers TTG Asia e-Daily spoke to welcomed the increased airlift.

Lac Hong Voyages Vietnam executive director, Jonathan Tran, said: “The new Vietnam Airline service opens more opportunities not only for traffic to Jakarta, but also beyond (to places) like Jogjakarta and Surabaya.”

He added that although his initial business to Indonesia had been corporate, there has been growing demand for leisure since last year.

However, Ami Tourist Vietnam managing director, Vo Thi Hong Diep, said: “Vietnamese travellers know about Indonesia as a growing economy but very little about the destination for a holiday.” She added that a direct Bali flight would bring Vietnam’s high-end travellers.

Read more in the ATF Daily

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