More airlines have resumed direct international flights to Bali, the latest pair to join the list being Malaysia Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch.
The landing of Malaysia Airlines’ Kuala Lumpur-Denpasar flight at the Ngurah Rai International Airport today marked the return of the Malaysian flag carrier to the Island of the Gods, which closed to all international flights throughout most of the pandemic.
“Selamat KEM-BALI,” wrote a social media user, incorporating Bali into the Indonesian phrase for “welcome back” in some clever wordplay, greeting flight MH-7150, which touched down at Ngurah Rai at 12:05pm.
Two days ago, KLM Royal Dutch also officially resumed its Singapore-Denpasar route. KLM Royal Dutch flight KL 835 landed at the Bali airport on Wednesday at 07:45pm, carrying 76 passengers. The airplane made its return trip carrying 15 passengers at 09:34pm that evening.
To mark their long-awaited return to Bali, both of the flights above were “celebrated” with a water salute upon landing at the Ngurah Rai airport – a welcome given to other international airlines that have recently returned to Bali.
Other airlines that have officially resumed direct international flights to Bali are Singapore Airlines (Singapore-Denpasar), Garuda Indonesia (Sydney-Denpasar and Narita-Denpasar), JetStar Asia Airways (Singapore-Denpasar), and Scoot TigerAir (Singapore-Denpasar).
“We are optimistic that international flights [to Ngurah Rai Airport] can be back to normal. One by one, airlines fill the flight slots since the airport’s reopening and [this brings] hope to the tourism sector,” said Herry A.Y Sikado, PT Angkasa Pura I’s general manager for Ngurah Rai International Airport.
As of March 7, the number of international visitors to Bali has increased to 2,000, or up by 400 from all of February. The resumption of direct flights has been credited as the major factor behind the rising number, as well as relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.