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APEC Summit will cut Bali links to the rest of the world

The hosting of the APEC Summit will have an unpleasant consequence for travellers:  Bali Airport will be partially or totally closed to schedule traffic from October 5 to 9.

DENPASAR- Bali is welcoming one of the most important world’s summit with thousand of delegates and head of States heading to the Island until October 9. Among the most prestigious guests to attend the summit are US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bali is feeling ready with the new air terminal finally being –partially- in operation. While the international arrivals hall will welcome all delegates and VIPs, only Garuda Indonesia international flights will start from the new terminal. All the other flights will continue to use the current international terminal. According to some reports, the terminal will only be fully operational from the middle of next year.

Good news at least: passengers flying into Bali can enjoy larger immigration facilities with 20 Visa-on-arrival counters and 26 immigration counters. In between, tourists who had the good idea to book a holiday during the APEC will probably have to switch their destination or stop on route. According to the communication and legal section head of the airport authority Angkasa Pura I in Bali, Ngurah Rai International airport will be closed to scheduled traffic on October 5, 6, 8 and 9.

On October 5 and 9, the airport will be closed for commercial flights between 10 am and 4pm. On October 6 and 8, the airport will however be closed most of the day between 10 am and 8 pm. According to the spokesperson from AP 1, delays might also occur as delegations’ flights will have priority over any other commercial movement. Most airlines have already rescheduled their flights and informed their passengers about the changes.

Talking to local media, Taufik Hidayat, general manager of Garuda Indonesia Denpasar office, said that the company had cancelled a number of flights to and from Ngurah Rai airport. “Businesswise, Garuda Indonesia will certainly suffer financial loss, but APEC is in the national interest, we should make it a successful event,” Hidayat explained to journalists. AirAsia indicated to be force to retime 53 flights and cancel 81 flights.

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Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.