The government says it will add 350,00 seats each year on the air segment between Singapore and Bali in order to meet growing demand and sustain ambitious official tourism targets.
As reported on Tempo Interaktif, quoted Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik who said: "from four trips each day we'll go to seven. In this way we will add 350,000 seats each year. Wacik's comments were made at a press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday, April 16, 2008, following a meeting with Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
The Singapore-Bali air segment is presently flown on a direct basis three times each day by Singapore Airlines and once each day by Garuda Indonesia. Valuair operates four weekly direct flights between the two cities.
If the announced expansion in air seats is realized the number of available passenger seats served by Singapore Airlines and Garuda Indonesia between Singapore and Bali will double from 350,000 to 700,000.
Singapore, as a major international travel hub, generates large reservoirs of passengers seeking flights to Bali. Emblematic of the huge backload in demand over the sector, Balidiscovery.com has received passenger reports citing "full planes" and inability to confirm air seats in August for booking requests made in April a full four months before the intended date of travel.
It remains to be seen if the Department of Civil Aviation will cooperate with the Vice-President's and Minister of Culture and Tourism's wishes. Indonesia's Civil Aviation Authority has traditionally jealously guarded its air rights over the Singapore-Bali sector.
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