Bali’s tourism industry may soon get a much-needed boost from Singapore, after its flag carrier announced the resumption of direct flights to the Indonesian island in February.
Alvin Seah, Singapore Airlines’ general manager for Indonesia, said the airline will recommence its daily Singapore-Bali flights starting Feb. 16.
“The resumption of the daily flights to Bali represents Singapore Airlines’ long-term commitment to help grow Indonesia’s tourism industry,” Alvin said in a statement yesterday.
The Indonesian government has not issued any statements on travel requirements for this route. However, it is likely that this route would be part of a quarantine-free travel bubble as teased by senior minister Luhut Pandjaitan last week.
Indonesia recently waived quarantine requirements for Singaporeans to visit neighboring islands Batam and Bintan, as long as they are fully-vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19.
The government said it was mulling extending that travel bubble to Bali, calling on airlines — specifically Singapore Airlines — to re-establish a direct route between Singapore and Bali.
Bali’s international tourism relaunch has been anti-climactic since the program launched in October 2021. In fact, an official said that not one commercial international flight landed at Ngurah Rai Airport in the three months since Bali reopened to international tourists.
Prior to the reopening, the island only saw 45 international tourists arriving in the first 10 months of 2021.
Tourism operators have lamented Indonesia’s strict travel restrictions and have called for exceptions to be made for Bali’s tourists.
Bali welcomed 6 million tourists in 2019. The island, which is almost entirely reliant on the tourism industry, came to a standstill when the pandemic hit.
Things began looking up towards the end of 2021, with domestic tourists arriving in large numbers to give the island’s economy a lifeline.