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Electing Not to Fly

Parliamentary Elections Cause Flight Disruptions at Bali's Airport.

(4/10/2004) Indonesia's national parliamentary elections held on Monday, April 5, 2004, caused a disruption in a large number of domestic flight services to and from Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Declared a national holiday by the Central Government to facilitate the polling process, Monday saw airplanes sit idle on airport aprons across the nation as passengers and crew alike stayed home to exercise their democratic right to vote.

Four smaller domestic Indonesian air-carriers cancelled all flights operating on election day while other airlines, including Garuda, Merpati, Bouraq, Mandala and Lion Air postponed services until later on Monday to avoid conflicts with polling hours.

Bali Affected

According to Bali airport authorities at least 44 flights operating to or from the island were cancelled on election day.

Airlines uniformly reported that load factors were sufficiently low to make operations non-viable on election day, causing the carriers to rebook passengers on the following day's flight.