Citilink opens Bali-Papua New Guinea route – becoming Indonesia’s first airline with a direct flight connecting the two nations

File photo of a Citilink airplane. Credit: Unsplash/Fasyah Halim.
File photo of a Citilink airplane. Credit: Unsplash/Fasyah Halim.

Citilink has launched its inaugural international route from Denpasar, Bali to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. This pioneering feat establishes the budget airline as the first Indonesian carrier to connect the two nations with a direct flight.

Citilink, formerly a subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia, began the new route from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali to Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on Sunday.

Citilink president director Dewa Kadek Rai said in an official statement made available publicly yesterday that the new route is a momentous occasion for both countries.

“This is also a history for Citilink, particularly, as we become the first Indonesian carrier to offer direct flights connecting Indonesia and Papua New Guinea,” said Dewa.

Putu Supadma Rudana, the vice Chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Body (BKSAP) of the House of Representatives of Republic of Indonesia (DPR RI), added further context to the significance of this new air link, which has been eagerly anticipated by the people of Papua New Guinea.

 “Previously, [people in Papua New Guinea] wishing to visit Indonesia, especially Bali, had to endure transits in Manila or Singapore. However, now we have a direct flight to Indonesia, particularly to Bali,” said Putu.

The opening of this crucial air bridge between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea is expected to foster substantial economic growth and yield wide-ranging benefits for both nations. 

“We hope that the establishment of flights connecting Indonesia and Papua New Guinea will bring about maximum benefits for the economic advancement of the people,” added Putu.

Bali Tourism Agency Head Tjok Bagus Pemayun expressed his optimism regarding the newfound connectivity.

“Through this flight, we hope to see an increase in foreign tourist arrivals in Bali. As of June 22, we have already recorded 2.2 million foreign tourist visits, and our target, as set forth by the Governor [of Bali], is 4.5 million tourist arrivals,” he said.

Operating twice a week, specifically on Thursdays and Sundays, Citilink’s Denpasar-Papua New Guinea flight will be seamlessly facilitated by Airbus A320 aircraft.

Citilink’s first direct flight route to Papua New Guinea has certainly opened up new horizons for enhanced regional connectivity, fueling hopes for expanded tourism between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.


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