Badung, Bali (ANTARA) - Two South Korean airlines, Air Busan and Jeju Air, will serve direct flights to Bali over high demand from tourists in the country to visit the Indonesian island, according to Bali's airport operator.

"At a global level, international flights to Bali are still attractive," said Handy Heryudhitiawan, general manager of state airport operator Angkasa Pura I (AP I) for Bali's I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, on Thursday.

He remarked that the two airlines would soon serve direct flights to Bali, though the starting dates are still under discussion.

However, he noted that Jeju Air has obtained a permit from the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation to fly to Bali via Incheon and Busan.

Direct flights already connect Bali to South Korea and vice versa, operated by Garuda Indonesia and Korean Air.

Ngurah Rai serves 19 domestic routes by 13 airlines and 33 international routes by 36 airlines.

In the first quarter, the airport recorded 5.1 million passengers, a 17 percent increase from 4.4 million in the same period of 2023. It is projected to accommodate 23.6 million passengers this year.

Data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) shows that South Korea ranks fifth among the top 10 countries sending tourists to Bali in January–April. During that time, South Korean tourist arrivals in Bali increased by 37 percent to around 82,000 from some 60,000 in the same period of 2023.

AP I also reported that Etihad Airways will start direct flights to Bali from Abu Dhabi on June 25 using Boeing 787-900 aircraft.

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Translator: Dewa Ketut S W, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Anton Santoso
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