An Emirates Boeing 777-31H aircraft takes off from Dubai International Airport on April 6, 2020.(AFP/Karim Sahib)
(The Jakarta Post)
Jakarta ● Sat, May 7 2022
Emirates airline has resumed serving direct international flights to Bali after Indonesia eased the COVID-19 travel restrictions it imposed in 2020.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) flag carrier said in a press release on Tuesday that flight EK398, the first Emirates direct flight to Bali since 2020, landed on May 1 at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport after a half-day flight from hub airport Dubai to be greeted with a water cannon salute.
Emirates added it was committed to operating five flights to Bali per week and then stepping up its operations on July 1 with the resumption of daily flights.
The airliner is among the 16 international carriers that have resumed direct flights to Bali since October 2021, when the government reopened Ngurah Rai airport to direct international flights.
The other carriers operating international flights to Bali include Garuda Indonesia, AirAsia, Jetstar Asia Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways.
“The resumption of the Emirates flight services to Bali is due to the easing of international travel restrictions and increased global operations,” the airliner said in its press release.
Following Ngurah Rai’s reopening, the airport reported a 91 percent year-on-year (yoy) increase in passenger volume to 585,123 in April, and a two-fold yoy increase to 2,176,801 passengers in the January-April period.
“April’s performance was supported by Ramadhan and Idul Fitri,” said Ngurah Rai general manager Herry A.Y Shikado said in a statement on Tuesday.
Jakarta-bound flights led the airport’s air traffic tally in April with 120,308 passengers, followed by flights to Surabaya and Ujung Pandang with 35,048 passengers and 14,228 passengers, respectively.
Although the airport recorded a significant increase in its yearly performance, its monthly performance saw a slight fall in passengers and flights at respectively 3 and 6 percent.
“Although there has been growth in passenger volume following Idul Fitri and the [current] long holiday, when many passengers will travel to Bali, we are still committed to maintaining the security and safety of [airport customers],” said Herry.
Cipto Gunawan, an expert staffer to the Bali governor, said more tourist destinations in Bali were open in April and early May for the Ramadan-Idul Fitri holiday season.
“Places like gift shops are getting more crowded, even to the point of generating traffic jams,” he told The Jakarta Post.