Slip into Bali with SilkAir

Bali

SilkAir to start daily flights between Singapore and Bali

Flying into Bali from the West or Asian city soon? From 12th December 2014, SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, will begin daily services to Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport, known in the trade as Denpasar (DPS). Together with Singapore Airlines’ four daily flights to Bali’s capital, the 2 airlines will offer a total of 5 round-trip services a day, subject to regulatory approval.

SilkAir has already operated daily flights from Singapore to Lombok. Having used that route, the writer can recommend doing the same to Bali. As far as I am concerned, the attentive cabin staff are no different to those on Singapore Airlines. Remember the old TV advert “Singapore Lady”? She’s still around, with many pleasant clones in lovely uniforms to complement their lithe lines.

However, that’s not why one flies with a particular airline, is it? Intended to complement Singapore Airlines worldwide flight network, SilkAir claims the new routes will offer point-to-point schedules and will help “synergise the networks of both airlines.” That’s why you could end up flying SilkAir, if you are coming from Europe or several other Asian airports, into Bali via Singapore.

If you are coming to other destinations in Indonesia, you need to know that SIA and SilkAir operate 56 flights a week from Singapore to Jakarta, as well as flights to 10 other destinations, including South Sulawesi, Medan, North Sumatra, Surabaya, East Java and recent additions Semarang and Makassar. Singapore Airlines offers a combined network of 99 cities in 35 countries.

SilkAir’s CEO, Mr Leslie Thng, said "SilkAir is extremely pleased to have the opportunity to connect travellers around the world to this vibrant tourist destination from 12th December."

That includes being in time for the European winter holiday season, when those with some savvy and some savings, or not sold on a White Christmas, make like the geese and head east for a Bali Christmas.

The new flights are the latest addition to SIA group’s strategy to move toward an increased presence in Indonesia, ahead of next year’s scheduled adoption of the ASEAN Open Skies network.

ASEAN Open Skies, recently ratified by the last ASEAN signatories in Jakarta, is scheduled to remove existing protectionist aviation barriers between all member states, including Singapore and Indonesia.

SilkAir cabin staff in new uniforms

Looking for offbeat Asian routes?

Ever thought of Vladivostok after Michael Palin’s guided tour of the city and quest to find a bathtub plug?  What about the long coastline of Vietnam? Now you can do both (but take a bathplug, just in case).

Booming budget airlines in Asia are looking for offbeat destinations to balance their heavy dependence on highly contested routes. Vietnam's VietJet Air recently announced an agreement with a Vladivostok airport to start flights there in the hope of tapping Russian interest in Vietnam's pristine beaches. You can get to Vietnam via Silk Air. Then it’s onto a seat with Vietjet to Vladivostok, where you alight and some Russian lady or gentleman quickly takes your seat to enjoy the trip to the long coast of Vietnam where, обещание (reads promise) there is no snow like in Vladivostok, from Hanoi down to Ho Chi Minh City-Saigon, ever!

Singapore's SilkAir and Jetstar Asia are both exploring direct services to Okinawa, Japan from Singapore, at first with charter flights. Also, keep an eye on Bangkok, which has two international airports. Nok Air and AirAsia operate regional flights in and outside Thailand from Don Mueang Airport. Don't know who Don Mueang was or is; but they used my initials for Bali-Denpasar Airport - DPS.