FRESH HOPE FOR BALI
OTHER airlines could move to fill the gap left by the axing of Jetstar’s Bali to Townsville service.
And Senator Ian Macdonald was aware of an airline he would not name “looking at picking up Townsville to Bali and beyond”.
“I know that people looking at it,” he said.
“Their interest is enough for them to do some calculations.”
The start of the Bali flights in 2015 came after the Federal Government agreed to provide funding to establish Australian Border Force services in Townsville over four years.
The decision came after customs and quarantine charges proved a sticking point in negotiations with Jetstar about the route.
A Department of Immigration and Border Protection spokesman said the Australian Border Force would continue to provide clearance services at Townsville International Airport.
Senator Macdonald said the government funding would continue but attracting further international services was important.
“The idea was, after four years it would be self- sufficient but this has put that back a few years,” he said.
“Certainly it’s not sustainable with just one.
“I always thought that by itself Bali was unsustainable.
“It’s a one- way market, the Balinese are not able or aren’t interested in coming to Townsville.”
Senator Macdonald are said Bulletin he would urge people to continue to using the Jetstar service up until it ceases in March next year.
“Jetstar may realise they’ve made a mistake,” he said.
Townsville Enterprise chief executive officer Patricia O’Callaghan said the re- gion was “continuing our discussions with a number of air carriers on domestic and international routes”.
“We will continue to work with our stakeholders to build the business case and convert these discussions into reality,” she said.
Townsville Airport chief operating officer Kevin Gill said their business, development and marketing team would continue to work with airline partners on future domestic and international opportunities.
“Obviously the loss of Bali is disappointing given the service’s popularity with Townsville locals,” he said. “Our recent passenger number results are encouraging and we remain committed to working with our airline partners to build on existing capacity, such as our new Tigerair services.
“The Bali services will continue to operate until March 2018 and we urge continue to use it.”
AirAsia also had negotiations with Townsville Airport in 2014 about the Bali route.
When contacted by the Bulletin yesterday Air Asia wouldn’t comment on whether it would consider running a Townsville to Bali route. locals to
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