A NEW option is now on the table for Darwin travellers wanting to head to Bali with Virgin offering services over the dry season. Picture: Brendon Thorne
A NEW option is now on the table for Darwin travellers wanting to head to Bali with Virgin offering services over the dry season. Picture: Brendon Thorne

Darwin route a first for Virgin

VIRGIN Australia's history making first flight from Darwin to Denpasar leaves Darwin tonight signalling a promising tourism season ahead.

The airline said it was pleased with the initial response to the new service and expected the three times weekly, seasonal service to gather momentum now that it was up and running.

The new service comes just a week after Qantas launched its new Darwin/Uluru/Adelaide flights.

It also comes at the same time SilkAir has increased its Singapore to Darwin services to daily until October.

Jetstar has also jumped in slashing airfares from Darwin to Singapore and Darwin to Bali.

And Darwin-based airline Air North has also just reopened a new tourist route with a Darwin to the Gold Coast service running until October.

NT Airports chief executive Ian Kew made it clear he was delighted Virgin Australia was operating the highly sought-after Darwin to Bali route.

"Daytime services departing from Denpasar together with the competitive fare structure Virgin Australia is renowned for, will be a winning combination for Territorians," Mr Kew said.

"Coupled with operating days of Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays; those quick weekend trips to Bali that Territorians are so fond of, are certainly back on the agenda."

Virgin Australia network, revenue and alliances general manager Russell Shaw is on the record that Virgin's passengers will now have more choice and flexibility when looking to fly to Bali.

"Virgin Australia is offering what we believe is the most convenient schedule on this route, allowing for our guests to arrive well before midnight when travelling from Darwin to Bali," Mr Shaw said.

"For the first time in over a decade, Darwin has an Australian full-service flag carrier flying to Bali internationally from Darwin. Virgin Australia is the only airline on this route to offer a business class service.

"As Virgin Australia's presence in the NT grows, travellers from Adelaide, Perth, Alice Springs and other ports can travel on Virgin Australia services to and from those ports to Bali; positioning Darwin as a hub to Indonesia, Asia and beyond."

Virgin's new flights will add more than 1000 weekly seats to the Bali market between April and October.

Initially this will be a seasonal service operating between April and October, historically the strongest travel period to Bali when 60 per cent of all travel is undertaken.