Bali recovery stalls(1)

28 March 2003

Bali’s hopes of a sustained recovery from last year’s Kuta bombings are being damaged by the war in Iraq.

Both Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines have cut services to the island. SIA, which has been successfully promoting packages to Bali, has reduced services to Denpasar from 28 to 21 per week.

System-wide, SIA has suspended 65 services, citing softening demand. JAL has reduced its flights to Indonesia by half. Instead of flying seven services to Jakarta and seven to Denpasar, it will now amalgamate those services into seven Tokyo-Jakarta-Bali flights weekly.

Bali is also expecting to be hit by new travel warnings to Indonesia issued by the US, UK and Australian governments.

Britain’s Foreign Office has warned that terrorists could launch an attack in Indonesia during the war on Iraq. This week it named Surabaya as being of particular concern. The Australian government picked up on the Surabaya warning.

The US State Department said this week that Americans should not travel to Indonesia because tensions there could escalate during the Iraq war.

Although Bali is reported to have been quiet since the start of the war, there are fears that travellers – especially Europeans – will want to steer well clear of Indonesia at this time of heightened global tension.

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