Canberra residents were thrilled to have the opportunity to fly directly to Bali for the first time, as Batik Air launched its inaugural flights on Friday. Passengers like Ryan Hopping and Sayu Thanaya expressed their excitement and convenience of having a direct flight from Canberra to Bali, making travel much easier for them.

However, not all passengers had a smooth experience, as some future flights were canceled, leading to frustration among travelers. Batik Air representative Ram Chabra acknowledged the “teething problems” and assured that affected passengers were being accommodated with new travel dates or alternative routes through Sydney or Melbourne. Despite the initial challenges, the airline remains committed to running three flights a week and is open to adding more if demand increases.

Looking ahead, Mr. Chabra emphasized the importance of local support to ensure the success of the new route. He highlighted the potential for Indonesian tourists to visit Canberra and discover what the city has to offer, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship. With the responsibility now shared between the ACT government, Canberra Airport, and tourism authorities in both regions, there is optimism for the route’s long-term success.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr expressed hope for the flight to expand in frequency, mirroring the growth seen with Fiji Airways’ service to Nadi. Canberra Airport’s head of aviation, Michael Thomson, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the time and effort required to establish new international routes. As the airport continues to work towards offering more international destinations, the key factor remains the support and patronage of passengers on these flights.

In the coming years, Canberra Airport aims to increase its international offerings to include up to seven destinations, building on the success of current services. The journey to establishing and growing international routes is a collaborative effort that requires ongoing support from both travelers and stakeholders involved. With patience and perseverance, Canberra’s status as an international aviation hub is set to expand, connecting the capital to a diverse range of global destinations for the benefit of all.