Sunday, July 19, 2009

AirAsia soars on Bali demand

17 July 2009

Bali’s popularity among Perth holidaymakers seems set to continue as AirAsia’s first flights on its new Bali-Perth route were packed to capacity this morning.

The low-cost airline announced last week that because of high demand, it would add a second daily flight on the route from August 19.

“The demand for Perth-Bali route has been phenomenal; we’ve sold over 70,000 seats since last May when we opened for sale,” said regional head of commercial of AirAsia group Kathleen Tan.

Perth is the first Australian destination serviced from Indonesia by AirAsia Indonesia and it is the fourth international route operated from the Bali hub after Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore.

Chief executive officer of AirAsia Indonesia Pak Dharmadi said the route would also service the growing number of Indonesians that work and live in Perth.

“Bali is a prime holiday destination for Australians (and) … we are very keen to position Bali as the gateway to Indonesia and other Asean cities as the airport also offers strong domestic and international connections,” Mr Pak said.

The number of Australian tourists visiting Bali in the first quarter of this year rose 24.85 percent to 71,970 from the same period last year, according to AirAsia figures. Australian tourists accounted for 14.67 percent of the total number of tourists visiting the island in the first quarter.

CEO of Westralia Airports Corporation Brad Geatches said the new route would allow more competition and better prices for WA travellers.

“This new service not only offers great value flights to Denpasar, it also opens up the entire Asia region to travellers who can use Bali as a stop-over to other destinations. We expect both our inbound and outbound traveller numbers to continue to grow over the coming months.”

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