Governor Koster calls for more domestic flights to Bali amid soaring airfares

File photo of the Bali airport. Photo: Coconuts Media.
File photo of the Bali airport. Photo: Coconuts Media.

While the Island of Gods has welcomed an increasing number of tourists in the past few months, domestic flights in and out of the paradise island remain quite expensive for many people, Bali Governor Wayan Koster said.

Koster said yesterday that the island is seeing at least 10,000 foreigners arriving each day since March, while the daily average for domestic tourists stands at around 12,000 to 14,000. The latter number, the governor noted, could be higher should airfares be less costly.

“The [numbers for] domestic tourists […] are a bit stalled by the soaring ticket prices,” he said.

Koster went on to say that even IDR500,000 (US$34) for a domestic flight to Bali would be too steep for local tourists who want to take their family for a holiday.

Coconuts Bali observed today that a one-way flight from Jakarta to Bali on low-cost airlines such as LionAir and AirAsia, for example, cost around IDR900,000 (US$60) on average.

Koster said that he has asked the Ministry of Transportation to add more flights to Bali as well as decrease ticket prices in order to attract more domestic tourists to the island.

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely affected the island’s tourism sector, which contributes more than 54 percent to its economy. Domestic tourists have been credited with “saving” Bali’s economy on the onset of the pandemic when the island’s international airport was closed throughout 2020 and 2021.

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