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Budget airline to offer Bali service
May 22nd, 2009

AN INTERNATIONAL budget carrier is set to fly to the Territory.

Indonesia AirAsia – an offshoot of Asia’s biggest low-cost airline AirAsia – has said it will serve the regular flights between Bali and Darwin abandoned by Garuda Indonesia last month.

The new service will open up the door for cut-price travel for Territorians to Kuala Lumpur, and from there to the UK, Middle East, India and China.

IAA chief executive Dharmadi said his company would begin a thrice-weekly flight service between Denpasar and Darwin before the end of the year and the flights would be serviced by an Airbus A320 aircraft.

“The potential of the Darwin-Bali route is less than rewarding, but we are convinced a market can be created,” he said.

The Malaysian-based long-haul flier first extended its services to Australia in 2007.

But Darwin was left off the destination list.

The new move to fly to the Top End comes after Garuda Indonesia scrapped its Darwin to Denpasar flights after nearly 30 years of flying to the NT – and just months after Territory-based airline Airnorth also stopped flying the route on January 31.

Both said they pulled out because of a decreasing number of passengers.

Australian budget airline Jetstar is the only company now offering the service.

Mr Dharmadi said IAA received an invitation from the Indonesian Department of Transportation to replace Garuda’s old traffic rights.

He said the IAA already held an Australian operational certificate and met the requirements of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

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