For years, travellers from the UK wanting to visit Bali can only get there on a connecting flight via Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. Good news is that now you can take a direct flight to Bali from London offered by Garuda Indonesia, the national carrier which offers only one-way direct flight for this route at the moment.

Temple of Lempuyang Luhur in BaliThe revered Temple of Lempuyang Luhur in Bali. Photo credit: Gene Tobia (Odynovo traveller)

Officially launched on 22 January 2019, the first non-stop route is scheduled to fly overnight from 10 PM to 9 AM London Heathrow to Bali Denpasar. The 7,760-mile flight takes 15 hours and 20 minutes and is operated on a Boeing 777-300 with only two classes on board, economy and business. Business Traveller pointed out that the first class is expected to come back in July 2019. The new route operates three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The taxes and fees inclusive prices for a single journey start from £588.

However, the inauguration of the new direct route came with a price. Garuda Indonesia has replaced the previous London to Jakarta service with the new London to Bali service, which means that passengers from London who want to get in Jakarta have to connect in Bali first. Simply put, the existing Jakarta-London-Jakarta service has switched to a Jakarta-London-Denpasar-Jakarta routing.

12-Day Bali Vacation with Wildlife Denpasar, Ubud, Munduk, Pemuteran, Pupuan, Sanur
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The bold move is speculated as a hope of boosting visitor numbers to Bali, which saw a 2.77% drop in numbers arriving in the first quarter of 2018 due to the continued eruption of active volcanos. But the Badung Regency Tourism Office revealed that the gross number of tourists arriving in Bali had actually increased 10.1% in 2018.

According to Gapura Bali, Bali's tourism industry targets 8 million foreign visitors in 2019, which accounts for 40% of Indonesia's total foreign tourist arrival. Anak Agung Gede Yuniarta Putra, Head of the Bali Tourism Office, calls for joint efforts from the government to make the goal possible. He said the development for the untouched west and east Bali needs to be balanced with the more advanced the south and north part, where popular beaches dot the coastlines. It is clear that Bali has been striving to improve its capabilities of coping with a larger number of visitors. A variety of efforts has been put to give the island an upgrade digital look, aiming to provide free Wi-Fi across the island and more efficient public services to visitors. Now with the new non-stop route, it will not be surprising to see the visitor number keep growing in 2019.

Bali IndonesiaBlessed with clear water and powdery white sand beaches, Bali tops the world's island destinations.

Oddly enough, there is no return flights from Bali for the new route. On the return leg, travellers wishing to fly back to London will have to travel directly via Jakarta. The return flight takes off at around 9 AM and lands in London at 8 PM. The connecting ferry flight between Bali and Jakarta is operated on a Boeing 737. It will obviously cause confusion for visitors when making a travel plan, but the direct outbound link still helps cut down travel hours.

Bali is renowned for being a perfect island holiday destination for all kinds of travellers. It is a hub for ancient cultures, exotic temples and mostly alluringly, white sandy beaches with some of the best dive sites in the world. Our Top Things to Do in Indonesia highlights some experiences you do not want to miss in Bali. Holidaymakers in London now can take advantage of Garuda Indonesia's new non-stop route to embark on a tropical journey. If you know little about Garuda Indonesia, it is a consecutive 5th time winner of World's Best Cabin Crew awarded by Skytrax, a UK-based ranking site for airline and airport reviews. To combine a seamless flight experience with a hassle-free Bali trip, send an inquiry to get a tailor-made itinerary.

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