There are hundreds of holidaymakers squeezed onto the first all-but-full aircraft from Australia to Bali in more than two years, which is expected to be fully booked by the end of the day.
Direct flights to the popular tourist destination have resumed after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions by the Indonesian government.
Arrivals who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to quarantine upon arrival, restoring Bali to its former status as a viable tourist destination.
For the first Jetstar flight out of Melbourne, more than 300 passengers had reserved seats.
Mr. Gareth Evans, CEO of Jetstar, said that the resumption of direct flights to Bali heralded the return of “international leisure travel.”
“Bali is our largest and most significant route,” he said in an interview with Today.
Initial service between Melbourne and Bali will be provided by Jetstar on three weekly flights, with the number of flights increasing over time.
Flights from Sydney and Perth to Bali will begin operating at the beginning of April, with flights from Queensland to Bali starting in May.
Flights to Vietnam and Japan are also scheduled to depart from the United States in April.
Later on, countries like Korea were added to the list, Mr Evans said.
“We will continue to search for new chances to travel to additional locations in the coming months. It seems that we are nearing the end of the tunnel, and people are beginning to take to the skies, particularly internationally.”
Mr Evans acknowledged that the aviation industry would seek to “recoup” some of the additional costs incurred as a result of high fuel prices.
The airline industry will have to raise rates, he believes, in order to recuperate some of the fuel expenses.
He also went over the COVID-19 testing regimen that visitors to Bali would be required to follow.
Travelers will be required to submit to a PCR test 48 hours before their scheduled departure time, as well as another test upon arrival.
Mr Evans stated that everything would be coordinated at the airport.
However, in accordance with Indonesian government regulations, visitors will also be required to undergo a PCR test on the third day of their stay.
People who test positive for COVID-19 while traveling abroad will have “flexible” alternatives for rescheduling their travel plans, according to Mr Evans.
“You are required to have travel insurance in order to fly to some countries, such as Indonesia, and we encourage that individuals get travel insurance for every trip that takes them abroad,” he said.
For further information, please see the Smart Traveller website maintained by the government.