Qantas is returning to Bali with scheduled services for the first time in seven years with seasonal flights from Sydney during the upcoming summer holidays.
The airline said on Thursday it will operate a total of 33 flights between Sydney and Bali from December 4 2015 to January 29 2016 with Boeing 737-800s.
Qantas is joining an already crowded Bali market, with four carriers currently offering flights on the Sydney-Bali route – its wholly-owned low-cost unit Jetstar, local rival Virgin Australia, Garuda Indonesia and Indonesia AirAsia X (which begins services in October).
While Virgin also uses a 737-800, Jetstar (787-8), Garuda and Indonesia AirAsia X (A330s) deploy widebodies on the route.
Qantas’s flights will operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays as an early evening departure from Sydney and an overnight service from Bali.
Qantas’s 737s have either 174 seats (12 business, 162 economy), or 168 seats (12 business, 156 economy) depending on configuration.
“We know how attractive Bali is as a holiday destination, so through efficient use of our aircraft, we’ve unlocked more domestic B737 flying time, delivering on our strategy to offer a dynamic and flexible network,” Qantas International chief executive Gareth Evans said in a statement.
“It means we can give customers more choice and cater for the spikes in demand we see over the summer peak.”
Qantas already flies from Sydney to Jakarta with Airbus A330s.
The return to Bali continues Qantas’s recent expansion into leisure destinations that are also served by its low-cost unit Jetstar, including adding Melbourne-Gold Coast (already a Jetstar route) and returning to Marrochydore.
A Qantas spokesperson told Australian Aviation the airline ceased flights to Bali in October 2008, when it handed the Perth-Bali route over to Jetstar, while the last scheduled Sydney-Bali service took place in December 2006.
Meanwhile, Qantas said it would again operate services to Vancouver during the 2016 Australian winter, with three flights a week between June and August 2016 to be operated by Boeing 747-400s.