Bali welcomed back Aussie travellers with JetStar flights taking off this morning for the iconic tourist spot for the first time in two years.
More than 300 passengers hopped on the airline’s Boeing 787 to mark the first time JetStar has flown to Bali since 26 March 2020.
News of the island re-opening saw the budget carrier have the highest number of seats sold to Bali in a single day in more than five years.
Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans said Bali has always been the most popular international destination in Jetstar’s network, with millions of people flying to the Indonesian island every year before COVID hit.
“We are very excited to return to Bali today after two long years, and we are confident that Bali will quickly regain its position as our most popular international tourist destination now that borders are open,” Evans said.
“Our recent Bali sale saw the biggest surge in bookings we’ve seen since 2016, and our recent surveys have consistently shown that Bali is still the top international destination people want to travel to.
“Pre-COVID, Jetstar operated up to 85 return flights per week to Bali, carrying more than two million customers each year and contributing almost two billion Australian dollars annually to the local Balinese economy.
“Today is an important milestone for us at Jetstar, and also for the local businesses in Bali who have been heavily impacted by the lack of tourism during the pandemic.
“We extend our thanks to the Indonesian Government for their support and look forward to continuing to work together to help the Balinese tourism industry bounce back as quickly as possible.”
Bali had 6.3 million tourists visit the island in 2019, but the number of arrivals dropped to just 45 last year due to the pandemic.
From today, fully vaccinated arrivals will only have to do a PCR test and once a negative result is produced, they can go out and explore Bali rather than stay isolated in a hotel room.
However, this quarantine-free travel comes with a catch.
Arrivals will need to provide proof that they have four nights in a hotel booked upon arrival. After the PCR test, fully vaccinated travellers will have to wait in their hotel room until they have received their negative test, according to Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaita.
Unvaccinated arrivals will have to quarantine for at least 7 days and take a PCR test within 48 hours before departure, then one on arrival and one on day three of quarantine.
Featured image: Seminyak Denpasar Bali (iStock/NicolasMcComber)