Emirates Airline says its considering serving Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on the back of significant growth in the Indonesian market and Bali’s fame as a tourist destination.
“Bali is definitely on our radar and it’s just a matter of time before we will have our flights stop at its airport,” he told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of a luncheon to launch a new route for the United Arab Emirates-based airline.
Emirates will provide daily flight service between Jakarta and Geneva, Switzerland, starting June 1.
“The flight from Jakarta will transit at the Dubai International Airport for between three and four hours before reaching Geneva,” Al-Nahari told reporters.
He added that the route would be served by Boeing 777-200LR and 777-300ER wide-body aircraft in a three-class configuration, providing around 1,950 seats a week from Dubai.
Swiss Ambassador to Indonesia Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn told reporters that the new flight service would benefit both countries.
“The new flight service will provide convenient and smooth connections between the two countries in the years to come, which will leverage their business relations and tourism industries,” he said.
Walker-Nederkoorn said that about 35,000 Swiss tourists visited Indonesia in 2010, adding that the exact number of Indonesians entering Switzerland was not available.
“It is difficult to figure out the number because Indonesians can enter Switzerland via other cities in Europe with a Schengen visa, which enables a visa holder to travel around European countries using a single visa,” he said.
He added that the Swiss embassy in Jakarta issued around 6,000 visas to Indonesians last year.
Switzerland recorded between 10,000 and 20,000 Indonesians coming to the country for vacation last year, he added.
The new route from Jakarta to Geneva is a milestone for Emirates in Indonesia as the airline commenced service in Jakarta on Aug. 10, 1992, providing three flights per week via Singapore and Colombo.
In 2005, Emirates started to provide 10 flights per week from Jakarta to Dubai, four times per week via Singapore and Colombo, three times per week via Kuala Lumpur and three times per week via Singapore.
The airline started serving Indonesia with double daily flight services on the Jakarta-Dubai-Jakarta route on March 1, 2010, enhancing its previous service with all non-stop service operating seven direct flights per week for similar routes.
Al-Nahari said that he was optimistic about the growing Indonesian market.