by Luke Voogt
Bali flights are set to take off from Geelong following an announcement by low-cost Indonesian airline Citilink and Avalon Airport today.
“Bali is our most requested international destination and one that we have been actively pursuing for some time,” Avalon Airport CEO Justin Giddings said.
“We’re excited to be able to make one of Australia’s most beloved holiday destinations a more affordable and easier experience for people wanting a great escape.”
Citilink is a subsidiary of parent company Garuda Indonesia Airlines that began in 2001 as a low cost shuttle service between Indonesian cities.
The airline began flying between Perth and Bali last November, but this would be their first operation to the eastern Australian states, Mr Giddings explained.
“Citilink has been fantastic to work with, and are highly regarded in the industry,” he said.
“It’s an honour to introduce this airline to the region, and make Bali more accessible for Melbourne, Geelong and regional Victoria in particular.
“We’re certain the flights will be hugely successful.”
The first Bali flight from will take off from Avalon Airport to Denpasar on January 24.
An Airbus A320NEO, carrying 178 passengers and cargo will depart Avalon daily at 12:50pm local time, with the return flight landing at Avalon at 8:50am.
The flight had been carefully scheduled to arrive at the “perfect” time in Bali, 4.20pm each day, an Avalon Airport spokesperson said.
Citilink Indonesia CEO Juliandra Nurtjahjo said he was thrilled to launch the new route.
“Citilink has become the first airline serving the Denpasar and Avalon Airport route and we hope this will provide more options for people who want to visit Denpasar and vice versa.”
Given Australia had the second highest number of visits to Indonesia of any country in 2019, Citilink was optimistic the service would reach patronage targets, Mr Nurtjahjo said.
The announcement follows the commencement a new international service from Avalon Airport to Malaysia in 2018 and a recent agreement to begin flights to Vietnam.
Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Australians, with an annual visitation of almost 1.2 million per year.
Famous for its luxury resorts, beaches, temples, warm hospitality, shopping and surf, Australians flock to the Indonesian holiday spot each year.