"Please pass on my appreciation to Gun, Mawa, Budi and the rest of the team. They were all extremely professional, friendly and helpful and the group really appreciated it. I look forward to running our next group together and seeing you in Bali in the not too distant future."
Reliability and Credibility We are members in good standing of The Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Bali Village, and the International Conference Association (ICCA)
World Travel Organization to Convene Bali Travel Industry Leaders and Market Positing Experts on December 10 & 11, 2005.
Organized jointly by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Indonesia, an important two-day seminar on "Positioning, Re-Positioning and Image Recovery" will take place at the Conrad Resort & Spa in Bali December 10-11, 2005.
To lead the Seminar, WTO is providing an expert team made up of Mr. Raϊl Peralba, Positioning Expert, Partner-Director for Spain and Portugal of Trout & Partners - leading experts in the field of positioning; Mr. Michael Fabricius, WTO expert on tourism policy and destination management; Ms. Zoritsa Urosevic, WTO tsunami consultant with extensive working experience in Indonesia; and Ms. Rosamond Deming, Senior WTO Program Officer and an expert in project implementation.
The seminar will focus on the concept of positioning, its application to the current situation of tourism in Indonesia and Bali, as well as Bali's present positioning in the international market with emphasis on issues crucial to the re-positioning of Indonesia and Bali. Designed to be an inter-active exercise involving all players: the public sector at central and local level, industry leaders representing the hospitality, tour operators, travel agencies, transportation companies, entertainment sectors, destination management organizations and educators.
At the end of the session recommendations on re-positioning and image recovery of tourism in Bali will be compiled and submitted to local and national policy-makers.
Attendance is open to any member of the tourism community with registration information available via the e-mail link at the end of this article
Seminar on Positioning, Re-positioning and Image Recovery
10-11 December 2005, Bali, Indonesia
Conrad Bali Resort and Spa
Seminar Moderator H.E. Gede Ardika, Former Minister of Culture and Tourism for Indonesia.Saturday, 10 December 2005
8:00 - 8:30 Registration
9:45 - 9:00 Welcome remarks from H.E. Jero Wacik, Minister of Culture and Tourism
9:00 - 9:15 Opening remarks by the Government of Bali
9:15 - 9:30 Remarks by Ms. Rosamond Deming on the Scope of WTO/Government of Indonesia action and objectives of the Seminar
9:30 - 9:45 Coffee break
9:45 - 11:45 Conference Address by Mr. Raϊl Peralba on positioning, re- positioning and image recovery of Indonesia's tourism to establish the basis for the ensuing discussions. This conference will focus on competitive management; the concept of strategic positioning; the strategic positioning methodology; thoughts about the present positioning of Indonesia in the new global environment; and questions to be solved in order to successfully reposition Bali.
11:45 - 13:00 Intervention by Dr. Mike Fabricius, WTO expert, speaking on tourism policy implications.
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:00 Strategic discussions and inter-active exchange with participants, panelists, audience and experts
15:00 - 15:15 Coffee break
15:15 - 17:00 Strategic discussions and inter- active exchange with participants
Sunday, 11 December, 2005
10:00 - 11:30 Working meeting of Panel to discuss issues affecting the tourism industry in Bali and strategy for re-positioning Bali through the joint efforts of the government, industry and education sectors.
11:30 -11:45 -Coffee break
11:45 - 13:00 Preparation of key issues and proposals
13:00 - 14:30 Working lunch for panelists and WTO experts
15:00 - 17:45 Presentation of key issues and proposals by experts and panelists. Inter-active feedback from participants on Panel's proposals for re-positioning of Bali.
17:45 - 18:45 - Closing cocktail for all
Panel of Experts
Government of Indonesia and Education
Mr. Thamrin Bachri, Director General for Tourism Marketing, Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Mr. Tatang Rukhiyat, Director for International Promotion, Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Mr. Gede Ardika, former Minister of Tourism, representing the education sector
Mr. Joop Ave, former-Minister of Tourism
Mrs. Wiendu Nuryanti, Executive Director of Yogyakarta Tourism Development Board
Bali Public and Private Sector
Mr. Gede Nurjaya, Executive Director, Bali Government Tourism Board
Mr. Bagus Sudibya, Chairman Bali Tourism Board
Mr. Michael Burchett, Bali Hotel Association
Mr. Paul E. Talo, Vice Chairman of Marketing for ASITA
Mr. David C. Wilson, General Manager, Ritz Carlton, Bali
Mr. Feisol Hashim, President of ASEAN Marine Tourism Association
Mr. Made Mandra, Executive Director, Bali Tourism Corporation (Nusa Dua)
Mr. J.M. Daniels, President Director of balidiscovery.com and Editor of Bali Update
Mr. Raϊl Peralba, Positioning Expert, Partner-Director for Spain and Portugal of Trout & Partners Group
Mr. Michael Fabricius, Tourism Policy and Destination Management Expert, former director of tourism for South Africa and of West Cape Tourism Board
Ms. Zoritsa Urosevic, WTO Tsunami Action Plan Expert
Bali by the Numbers: Another Look at October 2005 Arrivals Suggest that American and European Travelers May be Made of Tougher Stuff.
As recently reported on balidiscovery.com [On the Mend of More Pain Ahead?], following the terrorist attack of October 1st foreign tourist arrivals to Bali plummeted 36,83% in October as compared to the same month one year before.
A major-market-areas by major-market-area look at arrivals for January October 2000-2005 suggests that long-haul European and American markets (both North and South American countries) declined substantially less than the short-haul markets of Austral-Asia.
While ASEAN and Asian-Pacific markets declined by nearly 50%, the America's drop was a more modest 22.26%. Perhaps ever more remarkable, in the month immediately following the bombing attack, the European market dipped only 9.64% with the Dutch, French and Swiss markets actually managing to post improvements in arrivals as compared to October one year before.
The data and accompany graphics presented on balidiscovery.com show monthly arrival patterns by major market area for January-October over the six year period 2000-2005.
As reported previously on balidiscovery.com:
ASIA PACIFIC - Overall, the Asian Pacific market declined 46.11% in October 2005 (44,569) as compared to the same month in 2004 (82,703). Leading the exodus out of town from the Asia-Pacific were the Australian who declined 50.19%, followed closely by the Japanese down 48.26%. Meanwhile, the South Korean market dropped 46.75% while the Taiwanese sank 37.40%.
ASEAN - Similarly, the ASEAN market plummeted 51.98% for October 2005 (4,618) as compared to October 2004 (9,617). Malaysians dropped 56.91% month on month from one year before while the Singaporeans declined 42.63%.
THE AMERICAS - The Americas only declined 22.26% in October 2005 (4,503) as compared to October 2004 (4,530). Within that grouping of all foreign arrivals from North and South America the U.S.A. for October 2005 declined only 15.97% month on month.
EUROPE - Showing even more courage in the face of adversity was the European market which declined only 9.64% overall in October 2005 (26,994) as compared to October 2004 (29.875). In fact, three major European markets even managed to post month-on-month increases in October 2005 despite the distraction of the October 1st bombing. The Netherlands posted an improvement of 34.81% in October 2005 against one year before with Switzerland up 9.01% and France improving 5.74%. Declines in arrivals ex Europe were less dramatic than from Asia: Italys October arrivals declined 26.90%; Germany dipped 19.99%; and the U.K. dropped only 14.41%.
All Eyes on November
November's foreign tourist arrivals performance is critically important to Bali and will indicate if the current slump will deepen further or begin a slow climb towards recovery. November's results will also show if the Americas and Europe's travelers are indeed more resillient or if the true impact of the October 1st bombing was only more delayed in the long-haul markets to Bali.
Cathay Pacific Increases Capacity to Indonesia
Increase Direct Seats From Indonesia to Hong Kong Expected to Boost Access to Mainland China Market.
Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) has increased seat capacity and improved flight connections between its Hong Kong base and Indonesia, hoping to capitalize on the fast-expanding business relationships developing between mainland China and Indonesia.
CX's senior management recently announced an increase in capacity of 150 seats to Indonesia, achieved by changing its Jakarta-Singapore-Hong Kong service into a direct flight between Jakarta and Hong Kong.
CX operates a total of 29 flights each week from Indonesia to Hong Kong: two flights each day from Jakarta, four times a weeks from Surabaya, and eleven times a week from Bali. Flying to 90 destinations world-wide, the airline offers Indonesian travelers with business in China onward connections to 44 mainland destinations.
According to Cathays Country Manager for Indonesia, Richard Reed, quoted in The Jakarta Post, his airline is now operating at capacities representing a 100% increase from those of just a decade before, in the mid 1990s.
Bali's Airport Authority Earning Record Profits
Bali's Busy Ngurah Rau Airport a Major Money Spinner for the Island's Airport Authority.
PT Angkasa Pura I the management authority in charge of Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport is exceeding its own profit projection for 2005, having already booked a record Rp. 390 billion profit (approximately US$38.6 million) with more than two months left in the current operating year.
Exceeding their own optimistic business targets by more than 10%, Bali's PT Angkasa Pura has surpassed the Rp. 371 billion profit recorded for all of 2004 (approximately US$36.7 million).
The excellent results from the airport authority were revealed by PT Angkasa Pura Is President Director, Bambang Darwoto, in comments to the local press on Thursday, November 24, 2005, and reported in the Indonesian language BisnisBali.
The Hills are Alive
Construction of Volcanic Museum Now Underway in Kintamani.
Scheduled for completion in 2007, Bali will soon be home to a museum dedicated entirely to the study and understanding of volcanoes.
Located in Kintamani, near Balis still active Mt. Batur, the Volcanic Museum will present an overview of Indonesia's nearly 130 volcanoes; the central role volcanoes play in Indonesia's daily existence; and the history of eruptions in Indonesia's past - many of which have literally shook the world. In addition, the museum will also be home to elaborate volcanic and seismic measuring technologies that will allow guests the chance to directly monitor Indonesia's ever-changing geology.
The total estimated cost of the Museum project is Rp. 43 billion (approximately US$4.3 million) and is expected to play a major role in helping to revitalize Kintamani's appeal as a tourist destination within Bali.
Pre-paid Phone Card Users Must Now Register
Government Cracking Down on Anonymous Telephone Customers in Nationwide Campaign against Terrorism.
In a major step to control the misuse of untraceable mobile phone numbers by tricksters, terrorists and other irresponsible parties, the Bali branch of PT Telkom has commenced registering the purchasers of pre-paid telephone cards.
The move towards eventual registration of all mobile hand phone users in Indonesia is in response to new regulation issued by Indonesia's Minister of Communications that between October 29, 2005 and April 28, 2006 all pre-paid phone card users must clearly register their identities or risk having their phone service terminated. Since October 28th all new pre-paid phone card used purchasing cards at the PT Telkom office have been required to present personal identification in order to register their ownership of the subject telephone number. Similar measure are being introduced over time through the large network of private distributors of pre-paid phone cards.
To hasten the registration of pre-existing phone cards PT Telkom is placing advertisements in major media reminding their customers of the need to register as well as sending short-messaging-service (SMS) reminders to all unregistered numbers.
There are currently an estimated 140,000 pre-paid phone cards in use on Bali. PT Telkom authorities insist that any user who has failed to register his or her identity by the April 28, 2006 deadline can expect to have their number deactivated.
Lion Air Rethinking its Perth Service
In the Wake of the Air Paradise Collapse Lion Air Adopts a 'Wait and See' Stance on When to Commence Daily Flights to Perth.
Lion Air has again indicated delays ahead in their plans to commence service between Denpasar (Bali) and Perth, Western Australia. Initially indicating the new service would start flying in late November 2005, the management of the airline pushed the start date back to mid-December following the October 1, 2005 terror attack.
However, in the wake of Air Paradise's collapse and continuing weak market demand for Bali holidays from the Australian market, the Airline has again signaled that the commencement of their flight services to Australia may be delayed once again.
Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post,, the Airline's Public Relations Manager Hasyim Arsal Akhasby told the press on Wednesday, November 23, 2005, that the start date for services "all depends on the market conditions."
In anticipation of their new schedule to Australia, Lion Air has opened an office in Perth and have stated publicly that they have all the necessary licenses in hand from both the Indonesian and Australian civil aviation authorities.
In its originally announced plans to fly to Perth, the low-cost operator Lion Air said they planned to operate a daily service between Bali and Perth.
JAL to Temporarily Resume Full Bali Service
Curtailed Services from Japan to Indonesia to be Reinstated Over Peak Holiday Periods.
Japan Airlines (JAL) will temporarily resume normal international flight services between Japan and Indonesia, including Bali, over the New Year vacation period in anticipation of growing demands from Japanese travelers.
JAL reduced flight frequency and changed routings on its Japan-Indonesia flights at the end of October, following a dramatic downturn in passenger demand following the terrorist bombing on Bali on October 1, 2005.
In response to the reduced demand, JAL consolidated its daily direct flights from Tokyo to Denpasar and Jakarta into a Narita-Jakarta-Denpasar-Narita routing. JAL also reduced its Osaka-Denpasar services from seven to three flights per week with plans to suspend that flight service completely between December 22 - 26.
Over the coming New Year vacation period, JAL has announced that they will resume full operation of the three daily direct services between Japan and Indonesia. From December 22, 2005 to January 9, 2006, passengers will be able to travel daily from Tokyo (Narita) to either Denpasar (Bali) or Jakarta direct.
Daily service between Osaka (Kansai) and Denpasar will once again be available from December 27 to January 4.
Summary of Flight Changes
JL725/726 between Tokyo-Jakarta-Tokyo will resume daily service between December 22, 2005 and January 9, 2006.
JL725/726 will operate Tokyo Jakarta Denpasar Tokyo from January 10, 2006 until March 25, 2006.
JL729/720 operating between Tokyo Denpasar Tokyo will resume daily operations from December 22, 2005 through January 9, 2006. (JL720 is a code-share flight operated in cooperation with JALways.)
JL729/720 daily service between Tokyo and Bali will be suspended between January 10, 2006 and March 25, 2006.
JL715 operations between Denpasar and Osaka will be suspended from December 22-26, 2005 and again from January 5-9, 2006. (JL715 is a code-share flight operated in cooperation with JALways.)
JL715 between Osaka and Denpasar will resume daily operations between December 27, 2005 and January 4, 2006.
JL715 between Osaka and Denpasar will reduce from daily service to only three flights a week between January 10, 2006 and March 25, 2006 operating on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
JL716 operations between Denpasar and Osaka will be suspended between December 23-27, 2005 and again between January 6-10, 2006. (JL716 is a code-share flight operated in cooperation with JALways
JL716 between Denpasar and Osaka will resume daily service between December 28, 2005 and January 5, 2006.
Jl716 between Denpasar and Osaka will change from a daily service to three times a week between January 11, 2006 and March 25, 2006. Flights will operate on Monday, Thursday and Sunday.
A spokesperson for JAL said the Airline is constantly monitoring passenger demand on these routes and hopes to return services to normal patterns as soon as possible.
Garuda Ready to Assist Air Paradise Ticket Holders
Extremely Special Fares From Australia for People Who Purchased Now Worthless Air Paradise Tickets.
Garuda Indonesia has announced special discounted fares for Australians left holding tickets on Air Paradise that are now otherwise valueless following the suspension of services by the Bali-based carrier.
Available only to passengers who have purchased advanced tickets on Air Paradise, Garuda is extending very special discount fares of AUD$352 from Perth and AUD$478 from and of their East Coast destinations in Australia valid for flights through March 31, 2006 with prices not including Australian taxes.
Garuda currently operates 20 flights a weeks from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
Mr. Suranto Yitnopawiro, Garuda's Regional Manager based in Sydney said: "We are currently doing all we can to assist both the large number of travelers calling our offices throughout Australia who are seeking alternative travel arrangements and also those passengers left stranded in Bali. By assisting in this way we are also able to support our travel partners in Australia and the tourism operators of Bali."
This special offer is limited exclusively to passengers who have purchased a ticket for travel on Air Paradise. Other conditions apply with this offer subject to availability.
Australian travelers should call their travel agent or the nearest GA ticket office on 1300 365 331.
Dialogue: Ketut Suasana of Bali Bird Park
The Man Who Talks to the Animals Talks to balidiscovery.com About the Bali Bird Park and the Threat of Bird Flu.
balidiscovery.com recently caught up with Ketut Suasana, the General Manager of one of Bali's most popular tourist attractions - Bali Bird Park.
A highly intelligent professional who obviously cares greatly for the more than 1,000 birds representing 250 species of birds in his charge, Ketut interrupted his busy schedule to speak to us while an attentive, eagle-eyed friend looked on.
The Interview: Ketut Suasana of the Bali Bird Park
balidiscovery.com:Ketut, first of all, what about Bird Flu at the Bali Bird Park? Have you had any cases to report and what measures have been introduced to keep both the park and its visitors safe?
Suasana: Obviously, we are extremely concerned with the possibility of the H5N1 Virus affecting any part of our collection. With this in mind, we are in close contact with almost every bird collection in Indonesia, Singapore, and those held by our professional colleagues in Australia in order to share information about the virus, its causes, and its prevention.
In every instance to date, there has been no reports whatsoever from these sources of the H5N1 Bird Flu Virus. The reports of Bird Flu at Jakarta's Ragunan Zoo were not verified and, as a result, have not been included in the WHO's list of infected birds.
Six weeks ago when a case of H5N1 was discovered in West Java, we immediately contacted Badan Pengendalian Penyakit Veteriner (BPPV), (Editor's Note: The Agency for the Control of Veterinary Diseases) who have in their possession World Health Organization (WHO) H5N1 test kits and requested that they take samples from our birds. A subsequent testing of our entire collection and all our staff revealed that there were no H5N1 Virus cases at the Bali Bird Park.
As an added precaution, we have introduced extensive preventative measures at the park, including a complete banning of poultry in the park, and all staff make a complete change of clothing upon arrival and departure at the park. Disinfectant foot baths are required for all staff and guests at every entrance and exit and the BPPV has provided a safe disinfectant spray for use on every one entering and exiting the Park.
At all times we practice good husbandry with our birds, including long periods of quarantine with any new stock, routine testing in our laboratory for our exisiting stock, and the assignment of a full-time veterinarian who, together with our staff, carefully monitor all birds on a daily basis.
It appears that poor husbandry and over crowded production conditions for commercial poultry together with a low level of health understanding are the major precursors to the possibility of attracting the H5N1 Bird Flu Virus.
balidiscovery.com:Despite such elaborate precautions being put into place by the Park, are fears of Bird Flu having any effect on your daily attendance figures?
Suasana: There has been an obvious effect on our customers. The combined effects of the H5N1 Bird flu virus scare and the October 1st Bali Bombing have drastically reduced our daily customer base.
As you know, the Bali Bird Park has undergone many changes and during the recent months of July, August and September we were proud to host to an average of over 400 customers per day. The growing success of our entertainment programs plus the introduction of Indonesia's first Free Flight Bird Show has sucessfully repositioned the Bali Bird Park as a tourist experience comparable in quality to the highly successful Jurong Bird Park in Singapore.
However, while our European and Australian market are still showing signs of strength, unfortunately it is the Japanese and Taiwanese markets whose attendance figures suggest concerns and fears regarding Bird Flu.
balidiscovery.com:What message are you trying to send these markets, to travel wholesalers and the rest of the travel industry as regards Bird Flu?
Suasana: Obviously it is extremely important that everybody knows that the H5N1 Virus Bird Flu is of fundamental concern to all of us at the Bali Bird Park.
The Bali BPPV have been extremely diligent in checking live stock across Bali. To date there has never been a single case of H5N1 Bird Flu in Bali. With this in mind and with the elaborate preventative precautions in place, we are supremely confident in assuring all our travel industry partners and customers that bird flu is not an issue that should prevent them from visiting the finest collections of Indonesian birds in the world.
balidiscovery.com: On a wider scale, what is the Bali Bird Park doing in the nation-wide effort to ensure that bird flu does not become a global pandemic?
Suasana: Fortunately, the Bali Bird Park is in the enviable position of possession the best avian research veterinarian laboratories in Indonesia as well as having well-trained full-time veterinarian staff and as many as 30 bird keepers in attendance on a daily basis. As part of our community-outreach effort, the Bali Bird Park is preparing to become Bali's resource and information center for H5N1 Bird Flu Virus.
Using our in-house expertise and drawing on the skills of both national and international experts in the field, we are preparing a series of multi-lingual publications and diorama info-panels which will help efforts to disseminate the correct information with regard to the H5N1 Bird Flu Virus in Bali, across Indonesia, and throughout Asia.
This information will include simple explanations of how we can work together in order to minimize the probability of the virus affecting our lives.
It is also our intention to invite government and community groups from across Bali to our information center to participate in inter-active presentations which we hope will stimulate a coordinate and well-conceived approach to preventing the spread of H5N1.
Events over the past few years have cast a shadow on one of my favorite places in the world: the island of Bali. Terrorists have once again taken a beautiful, peaceful place and propelled it into international attention with their senseless carnage and cowardice. Now of course, travel advisories have been issued for travel to Indonesia which breaks my heart - especially considering what our government's line was after the 9/11 attacks: Go to New York! Spend money there! Support the local economy! My suggestion to anyone who has the time and money (you need more time than money) for an unforgettable vacation: go to Bali.
Bali is a true paradise filled with beautiful beaches, rainforests, and river valleys. Equally as beautiful as the natural surroundings are the numerous temples and open-air theatres and holy sites that sprinkle the island. This is one of the unique qualities about Bali, beautiful surroundings are coupled with cultural relics. The temples scattered around the island are still used and serviced on a daily basis.
Bali is a Hindu island located in the middle of the largest Muslim country in the world. These two cultures have managed to live together peacefully for centuries and generations, proving that it is not impossible. Partly because this small island is surrounded by 200 million+ Muslims, the Balinese are very open and passionate about their culture and religion. You see offerings all over the streets and shops.
Every morning, women make and distribute offerings to local businesses and homes. These offerings are made of a large dried leaf intricately folded into a square bowl shape. Inside are flower petals and other beautiful plant offerings and a stick of burning incense. Thousands are made every day. Just outside my hotel room on my most recent visit, along with my Asian Wall Street Journal was an offering. I peered out of the door and looked down the outdoor hallways and saw offerings all the way to the end.
Every property, home or business has a shrine on the point furthest north-west of the property, considered the holiest ground on the site. It is there where local Balinese go to pray several times a day and to ensure enough offerings are present. Local legend has it that a large western chain hotel on the island refused to put up a shrine in the north-west corner of the property, prompting much protest by the staff but the hotel would not yield. The staffers took up a collection and built by themselves - the local newspaper found out and put pressure on the hotel. The hotel apologized and reimbursed the staff members for the shrine. This is the spirituality of the island. This is what is lost on media reports of car bombs, suicide bombers, body parts and carnage.
Take a map of Southeast Asia, and put Bali in the center of it. Of all of the lands and cultures within a 1000 mile radius, Bali is arguably the most peaceful. The most devout (others would say "radical") Hindus are Jain Priests whose disciples brush the ground before them to prevent them from accidentally stepping on insects and spiders. They also can only eat food that has already fallen from the tree. They cannot kill anything to eat - it must already be dead. This is the religion and these are the people of Bali.
You can see where I'm going here. These people are so beautiful, spiritual, soulful, and they are everywhere all over Bali. Yet, the only images we see in the west are of charred bodies and flashing ambulance lights and screaming of tourists, and the implication that comes with it is that Bali is an unsafe and unruly place to visit. To make matters worse, the focus for both bombings have been on the foreign tourists killed, how many Australians, how many British and so on, with no mention of Indonesians. In both bombings, Indonesians ranked either number 1 or number 2 among those killed. These have been tragedies for the Balinese as well, for their families, for their economy and for their lives.
Such a peaceful place should not be viewed as terror trap or as an unsafe place to visit. It is unfair and statistically incorrect. These people are a beautiful people, soft-spoken, eloquent and have a spirituality that you can feel when you walk among them. Go to Bali and see for yourself. Support their local economy. And take a nice person who seems amenable to conversation, and tell him or her that you are not afraid of those who try to hurt us, and that you want to enjoy yourself in this beautiful place.
Air Paradise Suspends Services
Reeling from Effects of Most Recent Terror Attack, Bali's Home-Grown Air Carrier Shuts Down.
At a hastily arranged press conference at its Bali Headquarters on Wednesday, November 23, 2005, Air Paradise International announced an immediate suspension of its services.
Citing the "devastating effects of the recent terrorist attacks," the Airline's Chairman and Sole-owner, Bali businessman Kadek Wiranatha, spoke at the press conference where he personally offered his sincere apologies to the Airline's 360 employees, creditors and the traveling public inconvenienced by the sudden shut down.
The decision to cease operations reportedly follows several weeks of frantic and ultimately fruitless meetings with potential partners and investors in a last-ditch effort to rescue the carrier.
Air Paradise has retained Australian corporate recovery specialist KordaMentha as consultants to assist in the complicated steps required to formally cease operations. A well-known expert in such matters, KordaMentha guided now defunct Ansett Airlines through its financial administration and closure.
Qantas to Assist Stranded Passengers
Mr. Mark Korda of KordaMentha announced that Mr. Geoff Dixon, Chief Executive of Qantas Airways, has agreed to repatriate any Air Paradise Passengers stranded in either Australia or Bali on their flights operating through December 16, 2005. Mr. Korda said: "The Directors of Air Paradise whish to publicly thank Mr. Dixon and Qantas for their generosity and the speed at which Qantas has responded to the needs of Air Paradise passengers in such difficult circumstances."
Air Paradise passengers who have already departed and are currently in Indonesia should contact Qantas at (0361)-288331 or toll-free within Indonesia at 001-803-61336. Alternatively, call Australia at ++61-7-32387776 to secure return bookings.
Stranded passengers can also come to the Qantas office at the Grand Bali Beach Hotel for assistance in obtaining a new booking.
Passengers who have purchased tickets but not commenced their journeys should monitor the Air Paradise web site for further information.
Creditors of the Airline should also monitor the web site where information on claim procedures will soon be posted and updated.
Australians needing financial assistance due to their unexpected extension in Bali should contact the Australian Consulate General in Bali at (0361)-241118 for information on tranfering funds from Australia.
Passengers in Australia who have purchased a combined land and air package sold by Air Paradise are eligable to lodge a claim for a refund through a consumer protection fund. The compensation is only available for combined "land-air" packages and does not cover those who purchased "air only" tickets or "land only" arrangements.
An estimated 1,500 Air Paradise passengers are currently in Bali who will be provided seats on a first available basis with Qantas back to their original destinations.
A Sad Day for Bali
The colorful and charismatic Balinese businessman, Kadek Wiranatha commenced operation of the airline in February 2003, just months after the devastating Bali bombing of October 2002.
Initially operating service to Perth, Western Australia, the Airline at its peak operated 4 leased wide-body aircraft flying between five cities in Australia and Bali carrying an average 20,000 Australian tourists to Bali every month. In addition, the Airline also provided services to South Korean and Japan.
Passionately dedicated to helping Bali's tourism industry, Kadek Wiranatha and his Airline played a key role in Bali's rapid recovery from the 2002 terrorist attack and bringing Australian visitor back to the island in record numbers.