For the first time in two years, commercial flights between Australia and Bali have resumed, thanks to Jetstar’s resumption of service from Melbourne on Monday.
The island is the airline’s most popular international destination, and its current ticket sale saw the most bookings there since 2016.
The first flight, JQ43, was operated by a 787-8, VH-VKI MSN 36235, which took off at 10:10 a.m.
Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans said, “We are very excited to return to Bali today after two long years, and we are confident that Bali will quickly regain its position as our most popular international tourist destination now that borders are open.
“Pre-COVID, Jetstar operated up to 85 return flights per week to Bali, carrying more than 2 million customers each year and contributing almost 2 billion Australian dollars annually to the local Balinese economy.”
The airline will begin with three weekly flights from Melbourne, before expanding to Sydney and Perth in early April and Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, and Darwin in May.
Qantas’ NSW service will begin on March 28th, while Virgin’s service will resume on May 2nd.
On March 8, Indonesia abolished mandatory quarantine in Bali and reintroduced the visa-on-arrival system for visitors from Australia and 23 other countries.
The visa costs $50 and allows for a stay of up to 30 days, with visitors required to take a COVID test at the airport. Passengers who want to go to other parts of Indonesia can do so provided they take a PCR test on their third day in the country.
The announcement comes after Jetstar started flights between Australia and Thailand in January, with tri-weekly flights connecting Sydney and Phuket on its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
In the next months, sister airline Qantas will expand its international network by resuming its Brisbane-Singapore, Sydney-Manila, and Sydney-Jakarta services.
From April 1, Qantas plans to resume daily flights between Brisbane and Los Angeles on its Airbus A330 aircraft.
Qantas customers traveling to London will be able to stopover in Singapore starting June 19 on its upgraded A380s, according to Australian Aviation.
The Flying Kangaroo will relaunch its flights to the British capital via Perth on the same day.
However, it’s unclear whether the two new services will put an end to the present Darwin layover, which Qantas has hinted may continue in some manner.
The revelation was revealed by the company’s CEO, Alan Joyce, in an interview with Executive Traveller on Sunday, despite the airline stating in January that a return to the WA capital was “under evaluation.”