As reported by balidiscovery.com, Japan Airlines (JAL) will end a decades long relationship with the island of Bali when they cease flights between Japan and Bali on October 1, 2010.
Despite loads on their Bali routes generally considered to be commercially viable, JAL's precarious financial position overall has prompted its executives to take dramatic cost-savings steps that include eliminating service on around 50 domestic and international air routes, including Bali.
Measured in real terms, JAL's departure from Bali will eliminate an estimated 400 passengers a day from the airline's network which stretches well beyond Japan to important markets in Europe and both North and South America. In the course of a month the passenger deficit resulting from JAL's absence could reach 12,000 passengers.
While Garuda Airlines is pledging to pick up any shortfall in passenger capacity occasioned by JAL's route closure, practical concerns are that fares may raise and passenger numbers drop ex Japan. Also of equal concern are questions regarding Garuda's capacity to secure additional aircraft for Japanese traffic from their reduced armada already fully committed to other planned route expansions.
Bisnis Bali reports that many Balinese small businesses are worried that any drop in Japanese tourists will translate into lower sales for hotels, art shops, handicraft producers and attraction operators.
In the view of many shop owners in Bali, Japanese rank among the most active shoppers.
Japanese tourist visiting Bali in Q1 2010 totaled 66,338 - a decrease of 20.48% year-on-year with Q1 2009.
[JAL Says 'Sayonara' to Bali]
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