The Indonesian trade is looking forward to the launch of Turkish Airlines’ thrice-weekly Istanbul-Bali service in July 2019, with expectations high that the new connection will improve the country’s accessibility from longhaul markets, particularly secondary cities in Europe.
Umberto Cadamuro, COO inbound of Pacto, said: “Given its large number of hubs in Europe, Turkish Airlines’ service to Bali will multiply opportunities (for the travel sector) as our business is all about accessibility at the end of the day.”
While the new service opens up access to Turkey and its travel market, Go Vacation Indonesia executive manager product & contracting Marika Gloekler sees greater opportunity in the carrier’s extensive network through Europe.
“Turkish Airlines is not only flying from big cities, but also the secondary cities in Germany and other European countries, and with a short stop in Istanbul, travellers can fly to Bali.”
She added: “Travellers previously needed to travel by train to Frankfurt, Berlin or Dusseldorf to catch their flights, but now they can fly from the secondary cities (where Turkish Airlines flights are available), especially from rich cities such as Stuttgart where Mercedes-Benz is.”
Tour operators also hope that the new service will bring a breath of fresh air for Indonesia, as the country has been working to woo the international market back following the recent string of natural disasters.
“When the volcano eruption in Bali took place (in September 2017), the bounce back of travellers was quite fast. Recovery after the recent earthquakes and tsunami were a little bit (tougher). (European bookings) in 1Q2019 have been very slow but we see a big climb from April onwards. This means that travellers are not cancelling but they are just postponing their trips,” said Gloekler.
Trade members are also optimistic that the new connection will also bring along greater promotion and support from Turkish Airlines for industry initiatives like sales missions and fam trips.
Alpha Hotel Management (AHM), with the support of the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism and Turkish Airlines, has teamed up with 17 hotels and travel agents in Bali to conduct a roadshow to Munich, Prague and Budapest ahead of ITB Berlin this year.