AFTER the COVID-19 pandemic conditions improved and borders began to open, international flights entering Bali began to approach normal.

According to the Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office, Tjok Bagus Pemayun, said 3-4 airlines from China are applying for direct flights to the Island of the Gods. Now there are airlines from China still applying for licenses to Indonesia, especially Bali, direct flights.

“Before the pandemic, Pemayun said there were 15 cities in China that had direct flight routes to Bali. Currently, there are no direct flights from China with regular airplanes. Groups of Chinese tourists who came previously to Bali used charter planes,” he said.

The number, he continued, is part of a total of 13 direct flights that will enter Bali until March 2023. The 13 airlines until March are proposing, still proposing, hopefully it will come out quickly, about four of them are Chinese.

Pemayun has not been able to confirm the names of the routes and airlines that will arrive from China, including nine other airlines. Because, the list was issued by the General Manager of Angkasa Pura I Airport I Gusti Ngurah Rai in December 2022. Currently, Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport has served 24 international flight routes operated by 29 airlines.

“With direct flights from China, Pemayun predicts that the target of foreign tourist arrivals to Bali this year can be achieved. The governor’s target to bring in 4.5 million foreign tourists this year is optimistic to be achieved with direct flights from China, because it is one of the second market shares,” he concluded.

The group of Chinese tourists will return to Bali on February 6 using a chartered plane. Previously, there were 210 tourists from the bamboo curtain country who arrived for a vacation in Bali after the government lifted strict COVID-19 restrictions. [sources/photo special]