The world’s largest passenger plane will connect Bali with Dubai from June, boosting optimism for the Indonesian island’s tourism sector as it seeks to welcome 4.5 million foreign visitors this year.
Operated by Emirates, the four-engine behemoth Airbus A380 aircraft will start flying to Bali’s Denpasar airport from June 1, marking a milestone in Indonesia’s aviation, as it will be the first scheduled service of the over 600-seat plane to the archipelago.
One of the world’s most popular vacation destinations, Bali has been getting back on track after its tourism-dependent economy was battered by the COVID
Since Indonesia scrapped quarantine requirements for foreign visitors in March last year, the island welcomed more than 2.3 million international travelers in 2022 — a number still far from the record 6.2 million foreign tourists in 2019, right before the pandemic.
With the strong rebound of global tourism, officials in Bali have set their sights on welcoming 4.5 million foreign visitors in 2023. More than 650,000 have already visited in the first two months of the year.
“The additional access that comes with this new service (from Emirates) will definitely help Bali attract more visitors,” Tjok Bagus Pemayun, chief of Bali Tourism Agency, told Arab News.
“With this big plane come big opportunities to attract the Middle East market.”
More than 5,000 tourists from the Middle East — including from Saudi Arabia and the UAE — have visited Bali in the first two months of the year, local government data shows. And demand for holiday trips to the tropical island is growing.
Emirates itself announced the new A380 service citing growing customer interest.
“The increase in demand for flights between Indonesia and Dubai following COVID
-19 recovery this past year especially to Bali, along with the Indonesian public’s sustained excitement toward the A380, are great indicators that this service will be well received in Indonesia,” Emirates Senior Vice President for Far East commercial operations, Orhan Abbas, told Arab News.
“Indonesia remains one of our strategic markets as one of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destinations.”