Australians may soon be able to holiday in Bali again as talks of a travel bubble with Indonesia continue.
During a live Facebook interview from hotel quarantine on Monday, Tourism Minister Dan Tehan told the Herald Sun the Australian and Indonesian governments are discussing possible travel dates.
“There’s a keenness from both the Australian and Indonesian governments to see what we can do with regards to Bali,” Mr Tehan said.
“It’s obviously an incredibly popular destination for Australians in particular, and tourism is such a huge part of the Balinese economy so we will continue to have discussions.”
Despite only 24.5 per cent of Indonesia’s population being fully vaccinated for Covid, according to Our World In Data and Reuters, Mr Tehan said the situation in Bali was improving.
Massive demand for air travel has been triggered by the announcement Australia's international border will open on November 1 in NSW.
Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia is on the verge of a quarantine-free travel deal with Singapore.
Mr Morrison said the federal government was in the final stages of a deal with Singapore to replicate two-way travel without restrictions similar to New Zealand.
"We anticipate that being able to be achieved within the next week or so as we would open up to more visa class holders coming out of Singapore," he told reporters outside Sydney Airport.
The PM also said the vaccinated parents of citizens and permanent residents are now allowed to apply for travel exemptions.
Following the announcements, Jetstar and Qantas revealed they were bringing forward planned international flights to and from Sydney.
Mr Tehan said the progress in opening Australia’s borders is “great news”.
“There was the great news on Friday that the PM announced with Singapore (flights) in the next couple of weeks and my hope would be Japan, and South Korea and potentially Bali as the next sort of steps in that direction,” he told the Herald Sun.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said last week he is hopeful flights to Bali could resume before Christmas if the Indonesian government drops its quarantine requirements.
“It will be in the early new year at the latest, I think, and we've got aircraft ready to go,” he said.
Bali reopened to foreign tourists on Thursday after 18 months of pandemic hiatus, but the island is lacking one crucial ingredient: international flights.
Aussies could see another travel perk before Christmas with cruise ships expected to be back in the water soon, the Herald Sun reports.
New Qantas travel dates
Flights from New York and London will begin on November 1, while flights to destinations such as Singapore, Fiji and Johannesburg have been brought forward.
Qantas's new route between Sydney and New Delhi will launch on December 6 with three flights a week.
Sydney to Singapore flights will resume on November 23, four weeks earlier than scheduled, operating three days a week before ramping up to daily before Christmas.
Sydney to Fiji will be brought forward to December 7 for four flights a week.
Qantas will fly from Sydney to Johannesburg three times a week from January 5, three months earlier than scheduled.
From January 14, the airline will resume its Sydney to Bangkok services more than two months earlier than expected, while Jetstar flights to Phuket will start on January 12.
Flights to Honolulu, Vancouver, Tokyo and New Zealand are still scheduled to commence from mid-December 2021.
All travellers will have to be fully vaccinated and will be required to test negative for coronavirus within 72 hours of departure.
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