QANTAS is returning to Bali on a full-time basis after operating seasonal flights to the Indonesian holiday island for two years.
Strong demand means it will move its Sydney-Denpasar service to a year-round footing from March next year.
The full-service airline had ceded Bali to low-cost sister carrier Jetstar, which operates 60 return flights per week to Bali, but decided to put its toe back in the water with seasonal daily services in 2015.
The second year of daily seasonal services began on December 14 and will run until March 25 when year-round services will continue with four flights per week.
Qantas International chief executive Gareth Evans said the combination of Qantas and Jetstar would give customers “the maximum range of options”.
“We’ve had a fantastic response to Qantas’ seasonal service, especially from our frequent flyers, so we felt the time was right to go year-round,’’ Evans said in a statement. “For the past couple of years, we’ve been taking a more agile, flexible approach to our Asian network – responding to growing demand where we see it – and this is the latest example of that strategy in action.’’
The moves comes after the Virgin Australia Group introduced Tigerair Australia on the Bali route using ex-Virgin 737-800s. Growth has also been subdued in the Australian domestic market, allowing Qantas to redeploy aircraft overseas.
Also in Australasia, Air New Zealand announced it would split its Tokyo services between Haneda and Narita airports from July next year.
The airline currently operates daily flights to Narita International Airport and boosts these to 10 times a week over the peak months. From July, 2017 the three additional peak services will operate to Haneda Airport while the daily services will continue at Narita.