Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar all plan to resume flying to Bali from the end of March 2022, in what some may consider a surprisingly early push as Pacific travel opens up.
Qantas' schedule shows a resumption of its daily QF43 flight from Sydney to Denpasar on Sunday March 27, with the Melbourne-Denpasar QF45 coming back on Monday March 28; both flights will be handled by a Boeing 737.
(Low-cost carrier Jetstar has pencilled in April 1 for the return of its popular JQ37 between Sydney and Denpasar, which according to the timetable will be flown by a Boeing 787.)
Sunday March 27 is also a three-city kickoff for Virgin Australia, with Bali-bound Boeing 737 flights taking off from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Bali will be the second overseas pin pushed into the Virgin Australia 2.0 network map, after flights to Fiji commence December 23, 2021.
Although Qantas has earmarked December 18 for the restart of many international flights, the airline included Bali on the list of "destinations that still have low vaccine rates and high levels of Covid infections" as at August 2021, along with Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City and Johannesburg.
"Levels of travel demand – and therefore, capacity levels – will hinge largely on government decisions on alternative requirements to mandatory hotel isolation for fully vaccinated travellers," Qantas noted on August 26, when it suggested those destinations wouldn't see flights return "until April 2022."
However, Qantas has now listed flights to Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok and Johannesburg as resuming on Sunday March 27, 2022.
While Virgin has effectively been a domestic-only airline for the past 18 months, it has always maintained that a return to overseas flying was on the cards, initially on short-range routes to the likes of New Zealand, Fiji and Bali.
These are all within the range of Virgin's workhorse Boeing 737 fleet, although destinations such as Asia and the USA will remain out of reach until the airline obtains new long-range jets to replace the Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s ditched by Bain.
As reported earlier today, Virgin Australia has no plans to reactivate the two Boeing 777s which remain under its ownership some 12 months since Bain Capital retired the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 fleets.
Instead, the airline says it remains "in discussions with aircraft manufacturers on a fleet strategy to support the reintroduction of widebody services when long-haul international travel demand returns."