Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport reported it had added 145 flights with more than 25,000 seats to anticipate the significant rise in passengers during the holidays.
Sherly Yunita, communications officer for state airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I at Ngurah Rai, said Monday that records showed that passengers always increased during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Sherly said that the additional flights to and from Bali would operate between Dec. 22 until Jan. 4, with a rise of up to 91 percent in flights and 187 percent in seats as compared to the same period last year.
“The additions are indeed larger compared to last year, which only amounted to 76 flights. The airport will be much busier this year,” she said, adding that merely 8,848 additional seats were provided last year.
Sherly said four major airlines had proposed the additions this year: state-owned Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, AirAsia Indonesia and Citilink. Most of them serve the Jakarta-Denpasar route, while other cities served include Yogyakarta, Bandung and Makassar.
According to Sherly, Ngurah Rai from January to October served more than 12.84 million people, or around 42,251 passengers per day. Of these, 55 percent were domestic travelers, while the remainder used overseas routes.
Separately, the Bali Garuda Indonesia office general manager, Taufik Hidayat, confirmed the addition, saying the company had added 24,030 seats on the Jakarta-Denpasar route.
He said demand for the route was at its highest, not only for end-of-year holidays.
Garuda Indonesia, he said, also added 1,180 seats for journeys between Denpasar and Hong Kong.
The state-owned airline said it had also connected other cities with Denpasar, such as Brisbane, Semarang, Bandung and Lombok.
Ketut Ardana, chairman of the Bali office of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (Asita), said Bali seemed to have never experienced a low season over the last three years, only having regular and peak seasons, mentioning that the end-of-year holiday was the latter.
During the Christmas and New Year holidays, Ardana said that travelers from all over the world visited the resort island as many countries prioritized the special holidays, hence making Bali very busy.
Ardana said foreign tourists would, on average, spend more than one week on the island, while domestic tourists normally stayed for three to four nights, as the official holiday was one day before and after, as well as the specific celebration day.
Foreign vacationers normally started to flock tourist resorts three days after Christmas, he said.
“Incoming tourists will start around December 26 until New Year, especially coming through Ngurah Rai,” he said. “Many domestic tourists with private vehicles will also utilize Gilimanuk port to enter Bali.”