Garuda Indonesia's Manager for Bali, Uun Setiawan, told the Indonesian–language Bisnis Bali on January 18, 2006, that his airline will recommence service between Bali and Seoul, Korea starting in April 2006 after a lapse in service of 3 years. According to the Garuda official, growing passenger numbers from Korea have emboldened the Indonesian national carrier to restart the long-stalled service.
Service between Bali and Incheon Airport, the airport for South Korea's capital city of Seoul, was suspended in 2003 due to poor passenger loads.
The report in BisnisBali did not, however, provide details on the new service nor the frequency of the flights to be operated.
An improving Korean Market?
The latest arrival statistics for South Korean arrivals to Bali suggest the latest announcement from Garuda on the resumption of its Seoul-Bali service is, to some extent, a leap of faith.
Following Garuda's suspension of its Seoul service in 2003, South Korean arrivals did jump a dramatic 73.13% in 2004, totaling 80,273 South Korean visitors to Bali in that year. In 2005, however, arrivals from S. Korean dipped -2.63% for the year, declining 56.09% in the last quarter or 2005.
How quickly South Korean travelers recovers their nerve following last October's terrorist attack will no doubt largely determine if Garuda will hold true to its promise of an April 20006 resumption of flights from Seoul to Bali. .
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