Tourism industry members and Bali officials continue to closely monitor the number of passengers arriving on the few international flights currently operating to Bali, seeking affirmation that the sorely needed tourism recovery is underway.
The once-weekly Thursday Garuda flight between Narita (Tokyo) and Denpasar made its third flight on 18 February 2022, with what has now become a typically paltry number of passengers. This lack of passengers calls into question how long Indonesia’s financially troubled flag carrier will sustain the route connecting Japan and the Island of Bali.
Meanwhile, news regarding the relaunch of the daily Bali flight by Singapore Airlines is more cheering, with passenger numbers growing with each successive landing.
All international passengers arriving in Bali disembark at an airport where official health and safety protocols are strictly applied to prevent COVID-19 contagion. All airline, ground staff, and government officials on duty at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport wear, at a minimum, face masks, with many also using plastic face shields as an added caution. All passengers are required under law to emerge from their aircraft wearing face masks. Meanwhile, protocols on handwashing, hand sanitizers, surgical gloves, physical distancing, and plexiglass barriers at service desks are very much in evidence.
As reported by Balipost.com, the 17 February 2022 arrival of GA 881 from Tokyo to Bali carried only 13 passengers and 12 crew, broken down further into 9 foreign Japanese passengers and 3 Indonesian nationals. GA 881 operates using an Airbus A330-300 aircraft configured to carry 241-287 passengers. Depending on the specific aircraft deployed for the service, that extrapolates to a 4-5% occupancy rate for Thursday’s flight.
Singapore Airlines SQ 944 landed on Friday, 18 February 2022, with 146 passengers – 14 Indonesian nationals and 146 foreigners. The 146 foreigners landing in Bali were traveling on a B112A visitor visa (72), KITAS Temporary stay permit (31), or travel affidavit (2). Foreign arrivals came from 25 different nations, with the largest number from Australia (24).
Thursday’s return flight on Singapore Airlines (SQ 945) departed with only 36 passengers and 12 crew. The departing passengers numbered 27 foreign nationals and 9 Indonesians.