Indonesia AirAsia X has recently launched Mumbai-Bali direct daily giving added impetus to not just leisure traffic between the two countries but also business.
Taking advantage of the liberal bilateral agreements that have been signed between India and Indonesia, Indonesia AirAsia Extra has started a direct flight from Mumbai to Bali (Denpasar) from May 19, 2017. This will be a daily flight, with a 45-minute layover in Kuala Lumpur. The airline will operate on this route using its A330-300s with 377 seats (12 flatbeds and 365 in economy).
Capt. Sulistyo Nugroho Hanung, CEO and Director, Flight Operation, Indonesia AirAsia Extra, who was in Mumbai to announce this development says, “We had been looking to connect the two countries for a long time. We are the first low-cost carrier to start a long-haul flight on this route. We will probably start with low load factors, but expect the numbers to increase not just from Mumbai but also from Bali. We have good domestic connections from Bali to JogJakarta, Solo, Jakarta and Surabaya, but we are looking to connect other cities in Indonesia as well.” Indonesia AirAsia X does not have any interline with any other airline for this route. However, it will enjoy the Fifth Freedom Right that will allow it to carry passengers from Indonesia to India and from here to a third country.
Hanung adds that AirAsia offers international connections from Kuala Lumpur to places like Japan and Australia with cheap fares for passengers from Mumbai. “We have always seen demand grow once we put in capacity. We do plan to add more cities from India as well as Indonesia, like Jakarta or Medan.” Suresh Nair, General Manager (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal), AirAsia Berhad, says, “We started the flights with an introductory fare of Rs. 2552 (plus taxes). Currently, we are offering a return fare of Rs. 14,999.” Saut Siringoringo, Consul General, Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia, adds, “We saw more than 380,000 Indian arrivals to Indonesia last year without a single direct connectivity. This second connection between the two countries will ensure that this figure will multiply. We are also working to get Bollywood and are in discussions with a few production houses.”