First direct flights to Bali announced by Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is the first airline to return with direct flights to Bali Denpasar. Photo / Will Waters, Douglas Bagg; Unsplash

The first direct service back to Bali has been announced.

Air New Zealand says it will return to Denpasar from March next year, with its regular seasonal service from Auckland.

It’s been the news for Kiwi beach bums since 2020, when Indonesia closed its borders to international travel just weeks before the start of the popular winter route.

“Our last flight was in 2019 when we flew around 17,000 customers,” says Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty.

“Bali regularly ranks as one of our most searched destinations – currently in the top five – and we expect interest to be hotter than the Balinese sun as Kiwis flock to book a winter getaway.”

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From March 29, NZ64 departs Auckland three times a week for Bali on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

After a winter sun season in which New Zealanders had to navigate some unpredictable links across Australia, the nonstop Denpasar service is a big help in planning the logistics of a Bali holiday.

Around 4000 travelers were affected by problems with the Jetstar Boeing 787 fleet in September. Some Kiwi holidaymakers have left up to $2500 out of pocket to rebook trips via Melbourne or Sydney – the shortest indirect link.

However, despite logistical challenges, there was no shortage of appetite for Indonesian beach holidays. Indonesia’s tourism minister says the island had more than 120,000 visitors via Australian air links during the first four months since the borders reopened in March.

Flights from Auckland to Denpasar go on sale today for flights from March 29 to October 27, 2023.

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Air New Zealand is the first airline to make the return on direct links. The route was previously flown by Emirates, who offered a free checked surfboard.

With the seasonal service halted by the New Zealand travel stop, it is the first direct service to the “Island of the Gods” in more than 1100 days.

Bali is the fifth most searched destination on Air New Zealand.  Photo: Mohammad Novrij, Unsplash
Bali is the fifth most searched destination on Air New Zealand. Photo: Mohammad Novrij, Unsplash

Back to Bali: what travelers need to know

New Zealand citizens are issued a visa on arrival, making leisure travel relatively easy.

However, there are a number of Covid-19 protocols that still apply to international arrivals.

All tourists over 18 must have proof of at least two doses of the Covid 19 vaccine to enter the country. Children over 6 must also be vaccinated and there are further requirements for further domestic travel. Check the requirements before booking if you are planning further trips to Indonesia.

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All travelers are advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance. If you test positive, you may be taken to a central isolation facility or hospital for treatment at your own expense.

For more details visit the official Ministry of Tourism website for travel conditions.

Since July, the MPI has introduced new measures to raise awareness of the risk of foot and mouth disease as travelers arrive from Bali and other parts of Indonesia.

“Our frontline border staff are attentive to goods and travelers with Indonesia as the point of departure,” a statement said. “If you arrive from Indonesia, your luggage may be searched.”

Returnees are asked to avoid contact with livestock abroad and not to bring meat or other animal products into the country.


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