Garuda Indonesia is considering starting regular flights between Taipei and Bali by the end of this year, citing strong demand from Taiwanese tourists.
“The flight frequency [of the route] may be five flights a week,” Garuda general manager in Taiwan Joseph Tendean told a press conference yesterday.
Bali has been a popular destination for Taiwanese tourists who visit Indonesia. Currently, China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) and EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空) operate direct flight services on the Taipei-Bali route.
Tendean said Garuda Indonesia would adopt a code-sharing service with CAL on the route to serve customers and would continue focusing on flights to Jakarta as a connecting point for tourists who want to travel to other cities in Indonesia.
The carrier’s wide coverage of domestic routes in Indonesia may help it foot the bill, as its capacity for the domestic market accounts for about 60 percent, Tendean said.
Tendean also maintained an optimistic outlook for the airline industry this year, citing the economic recovery in the US and Europe.
However, the issue of fuel costs remains a major risk for the carrier this year, Tendean said, adding that fuel costs account for 40 percent of Garuda Indonesia’s overall expenditure, as it does with its peers.
The carrier owns a fleet of 140 aircraft and aims to raise that number to 194 by the end of next year, the company said in a statement, adding that it operates 40 domestic routes in Indonesia and flies to 64 international destinations.