Garuda Indonesia set to add Chengdu as fourth mainland China market

Garuda Indonesia is set to introduce regular flights to this year’s World Routes host city of Chengdu from early next year, the Asian carrier revealed during the event at the city’s Century City New International Exhibition and Convention Centre. The carrier will add to its existing flights from Jakarta to Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai and from Denpasar to the three cities with the new service from Ngurah Rai International Airport, the main airport in Bali, to Shuangliu International Airport.

The flight is scheduled to launch from January 20, 2017 and will be the only regular scheduled link between Chengdu and Indonesia, a market that is growing in interest among China’s developing outbound market. In 2011 around 470,000 Chinese travellers visited Indonesia, a market that had grown to almost 1.5 million in 2014 and is expected to exceed two million this year.

China has now become the largest inbound travel market for Indonesia ahead of Singapore, Malaysia and Australia and figures from Indonesia’s Central Statistics Agency for the first quarter of this year show it now accounts for almost one in five foreign tourist arrivals into the country.

Garuda Indonesia has already played an important role in this development through the introduction to direct flights from Bali to Beijing in January 2015, Guangzhou in November 2015 and Shanghai in January 2016. The success of these flights will see frequencies on the Denpasar – Guangzhou route increase to a daily schedule from this winter and all three of its Bali – China services are now flown using widebodied equipment.

Research from the Bali Government Tourism Office shows Chinese travellers are close to outnumbering Australians, as a result of 37% growth this year compared with 9.6%. Bali has for a long-time been a popular low-cost getaway for Australians, which account for around 23% of international tourist arrivals, but Chinese arrivals have now grown to over 20% of the total.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…