Two years after Turkish Airlines cut its direct route between Bali and Istanbul because of the coronavirus pandemic, the route is once again up and running.
The airline’s first direct flight between Istanbul and Bali since 2020 landed at Bali Ngurah Rai, the province’s primary airport, on Tuesday.
Faik Fahmi, the president of Angkasa Pura I, verified the route’s resumption. Faik also expressed enthusiasm about the direct flight’s return, stating that increased international flights would bring more visitors to the island province of Indonesia.
The airplane landed on the evening of March 29, carrying nearly 300 passengers. The direct flight from Istanbul was in the air for over a dozen hours, and it returned to Istanbul later that night with over 200 passengers.
Faik pointed out that the plane was 70% full, which is an encouraging sign. The resumption of flights doesn’t necessarily mean that people are willing to travel, so the impressive number of passengers is a good sign for Bali.
The route will run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. On average, it will bring over 500 daily passengers to Bali Ngurah Rai’s international terminal.
Turkish Airlines created its Istanbul-Bali direct flight in July 2019, though the airline shut it down in early 2020 because of the pandemic.
Even if Turkish Airlines had wanted to restart the route earlier, few passengers would have tried to utilize it until recently. Bali didn’t relax its quarantine rules for tourists until March 7, and travelers weren’t interested in spending any vacation time in quarantine.
Now, fully vaccinated visitors don’t need to quarantine upon arrival. Quarantine is still necessary for tourists who can’t provide proof of full vaccination.
Visitors must also take a PCR test after landing, and they have to stay in their hotel room until their results come back negative.