Garuda Indonesia plans to bolster tourism in Bali by adding direct flights to the USA, France, and India.
Garuda Wants To Fly To Two U.S. Cities, Two Indian Cities, And Another Destination In Europe…But Is Garuda Indonesia USA Service Remotely Possible?
Per the Jakarta Post, state-run Garuda Indonesia plans to introduce direct flights from Bali to:
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- New Delhi
Garuda President Director Irfan Setiaputra told an Indonesian House of Representatives committee responsible for tourism:
“Garuda and the Tourism Ministry have agreed that the only way to boost foreign tourist visits is by introducing direct flights to Denpasar. Hopefully, we can make it through this crisis and start direct flights from countries that have large spending capabilities.”
The move would mark a shift concentrating longhaul travel in Bali instead of Jakarta. While Jakarta may be the business hub of Indonesia, Bali is the tourist hub. Struggling Garuda Indonesia would stake its fortunes on tourism.
A CNBC article which hinted of the new route announcements last month included another quote from Setiaputra:
“Because if a Parisian, a Frenchman spends US$10,000 on his vacation in Bali, there is no problem if Garuda loses US $ 500 per passenger, because we can get US$10,500 in this country.”
I don’t get the numbers, but I’ll assume he means the flight costs $1,000?
In any case, it seems like Garuda is perfectly willing to lose money on flying in hopes of making it up in overall tourism spending. It’s an interesting proposition…certainly one that underscores precisely why national airlines are often about far more than profit.
COVID-19 may seem like an odd time for airlines to start new routes, particularly routes geared toward tourism. Frankly, I don’t expect to see any of these new routes to take to the skies. Yet Garuda should continue to think outside of the box as its present strategy was not working, even before the pandemic.
image: Garuda Indonesia