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Image: Garuda A300-200 taking off to Mumbai. Credit: Youtube.

The new Garuda direct flight from Bali to Mumbai started yesterday and is expected to grow numbers, exponentially for Indian travelers coming to Bali.

The Indian Consul General in Denpasar, Sunil Babu says Garuda Indonesia’s direct flights serving the Bali-Mumbai route will speed up access for tourists from India to holiday on the Island of the Gods.

“For other flights to and from India there is a transit that takes about three to six hours or even 10 hours depending on the flight,” the Consul General said while attending the inaugural flight reception this morning at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.

According to him, with direct flights taking about seven hours it will cut travel time so much to provide added value for Indian tourists vacationing in Bali.

Thus, Sunil is optimistic that the only direct access flight served by the Indonesian national carrier will open the door for more Indian tourists to Indonesia and especially Bali.

Sunil told reporters that tourism from India grew significantly even when Bali tourism slowed due to impacted of the volcanic activity of Mount Agung.

“In December last year Indian tourists to Bali reached 29 thousand or nearly one thousand people per day even though regular flights were not stable,” he added.

He also noted that during 2017 there were around 272 thousand Indian arrivals to Bali which was a dramatic increase from the year before, which reached 109 thousand.

During the period of January-February this year, he added, there were already 56 thousand Indian tourists to Bali, while the same period last year reached 24 thousand.

This significant growth already occurred without a direct flight so he is optimistic that this new Garuda flight will boost the number of Indian tourists.

The inaugural flight Denpasar-Mumbai-Denpasar operated on April 23, 2018, arriving back this morning and initially there will be two flights weekly, Monday and Thursday at 3.40pm with a travel time of about seven hours. That number will grow as demand increases.

The flight is served by an Airbus 330 series 200 aircraft with a capacity of about 222 passengers.