Indonesian low-cost-carrier Citilink is set to open its first route to Australia, linking the city of Perth to Bali. The carrier, owned by Garuda Indonesia, promises to bring a competitive edge to fellow low-cost rival Jetstar.
What are the details?
Citilink has been trying to open this new route to Bali for some time, but it seems, for now, its actually going to move ahead.
Bali, being a tropical destination close by to Australia, is incredibly popular with tourists. Low-cost travel between the two countries will instantly be very lucrative for airlines, as long as they can beat off the competition.
The route was originally set to start on October 28th, but for some reason tickets never exactly went on sale. Since then, no aircraft has flown to Australia to pick up any passengers. But the airline has changed its tune and now tickets are available online (for around $435 AUD for a round trip).
According to Airline Ratings, the new flight (QG542) will leave Denpasar (DPS) at 1 AM and arrive in Perth (PER) at just before 5 AM. Then the flight back to Bali leaves at 9.40 AM and arrives after lunch at 1.30 PM. The aircraft is believed to go onto other sectors from there.
The route is very short and will be a great link for those looking for a quick getaway. Bali is close enough to Perth to be a weekend destination for some, leaving Friday and arriving back just before work Monday morning.
The service is due to start on November 8th this year and will be operated by an Airbus A320.
Who is Citilink?
Citilink is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia, focusing on low-cost travel within Indonesia but starting new routes to international destinations. They have 57 aircraft (mostly A320s) but have a few long haul A330s on order. It is believed they will use these to fly to Kula Lumpur and Frankfurt in the near future.
However, the airline is actually competing with Garuda on the same route which is a little bit awkward. We can only hope that the airline’s plans are that the low-cost-carrier will attract customers who are not choosing Garuda in the first place.
In addition to this, they will also be competing with Qantas’ Jetstar, rival Batik Air, and the Indonesia Air Asia (interestingly, this is the only normal Air Asia route to Australia, the rest operated by Air Asia X). Whether or not they can attract enough passengers on this crowded route remains to be seen.
You can check out a video review of the Bali to Australia route on Garuda here:
Given the choice, Garuda can actually be one of the best ways to get to Bali, as their older aircraft have yet to be reconfigured to the tiny seats found on most low-cost carriers.
What do you think? Will you be flying on the new Citilink connection to Bali? Let us know in the comments.