The Emirates Hopes to Tap Rising Demand in Indonesia After Maiden A380 Landing

Emirates, the largest Airbus A380 superjumbo jet operator worldwide, intends to expand its operations in Indonesia after the successful maiden deployment of its A380 aircraft to Bali. Following the historic landing, Emirates said it would study demand at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport before deciding whether to deploy its A380 service to Jakarta.
“We’re pleased to achieve this milestone, which will greatly strengthen our operations in Indonesia, as well as our future commercial plans for the market,” Mohammad Al Attar, Emirates’ country manager for Indonesia told reporters on Thursday.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 15 airlines were operating the A380, but many put the aircraft in storage as the pandemic hit air travel demand. Air France became the first to retire its entire A380 fleet in May 2020. However, a number opted to keep the aircraft operational, especially after the easing of pandemic restrictions in many parts of the world. Germany-based Lufthansa and United Arab Emirates-based Etihad Airways were among the most recent airlines to reactivate their A380 fleets. Emirates’A380 arrival at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali demonstrated its long-standing commitment to the country’s travel and tourism sector, the airline said. The airline added that it was well prepared to meet the rising demand to serve flights to and from Bali with the A380.
Handy Heryudhitiawan, general manager of I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, said on Thursday the operator had checked the airport’s airside and landside facilities to ensure they met the requirements to serve Airbus A380 flights. This includes having an aviobridge with two trunks to allow passengers to board and disembark the double-deck jet airliner as well as improved waiting room and toilet capacity at terminals and adjustments to the airport’s aircraft refueling capacity.
Transportation Ministry Civil Aviation Director General M. Kristi Endah Murni said on Thursday that Emirates’A380 would serve a daily flight between Dubai and Denpasar, Bali. The ministry hoped the aircraft could contribute to increasing tourist numbers to Bali and other parts of Indonesia due to its greater passenger capacity.
Bali Governor I Wayan Koster lauded the opening of the A380 route to Indonesia. He said the number of visitors to Bali had increased significantly since travel restrictions in Indonesia were dropped in 2022. In 2022, 1.1 million foreign tourists visited Bali, while in just the first four months of this year already over 1.4 million visitors had come to the island, he said.
“I hope that the Emirates A380 will serve as a model for other airlines to fly their aircraft to Bali, enabling Bali’s tourism to rebound,” I Wayan said. Elaborating further, I Wayan added that he hopes “visitors from other countries will be respectful of local rules.”

June 2, 2023, The Jakarta Post