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Qantas cuts Indon services

Old 22nd Oct 2002, 07:49
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Qantas cuts Indon services


Qantas cuts Indon services
October 22, 2002

QANTAS Airways Ltd has scrapped several of its Indonesian flights as the fallout from the horrific Bali bombings continues.

The move comes as scores of would-be Bali holidaymakers are switching their vacations to Fiji and Queensland.

Qantas said it would redirect the Indonesian capacity to more popular holiday destinations, such as Cairns, the Gold Coast, Hamilton Island, and Fiji.

Following the Bali terrorist attack just over a week ago, Qantas increased flights to and from the Indonesian island to help desperate Australians return home quickly.

"With the needs of those travellers met, and demand for travel between Australia and Bali slowing over the coming months, we have reassessed our schedule to ensure we are offering enough capacity to other international and domestic holiday destinations for the busy Christmas holiday season," Qantas executive general manager sales and marketing John Borghetti said.

Under the interim schedule, effective from November, Qantas would continue to operate four Sydney-Jakarta and two Perth-Jakarta flights per week.

It would cut its Boeing 767 Sydney-Denpasar, Bali services, from four to two return services a week.

The airline also said it would cancel the weekly Melbourne-Denpasar service and maintain operations between the Northern Territory and Denpasar.

Qantas said it would also operate one weekly return Boeing 737 Perth-Denpasar service flight each week from December, increasing to two services a week in January.

Mr Borghetti said Qantas would continue to assess demand and make changes as necessary.

"We have the flexibility to introduce additional capacity quickly if circumstances require it, as we have done over the past week."

While analysts said the move made sense, it failed to spark Qantas shares today.

The stock has been repeatedly pounded by nervous investors, jittery following the Bali attacks and also skittish about the likely effect of any US war with Iraq on oil prices and international passenger numbers.

Shares in Qantas closed five cents lower at $3.76 on turnover of 4.4 million.

"It makes sense," one analyst said of Qantas' interim changes.

"If no one is flying to Bali, if people just aren't going there, what is the point of flying seats there," he said.

Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon last week told shareholders the Bali bombings were not expected to have a major impact on the airline.

The changes came as Singapore Airlines (SIA) today said it was trimming Denpasar and Singapore services back to four a day.

Singapore Airlines had added a fifth daily flight last week to cater for demand for outbound travel from Bali.

"SIA will continue to monitor demand for travel to and from Bali and make further reviews to schedules if necessary," the airline said.



First Bali, now Thailand
October 22, 2002

FIRST it was Bali, now Australians are being warned off another idyllic South-East Asian destination.

Australians travelling to Thailand have been urged to exercise extreme caution in public areas in upgraded travel advice from the Foreign Affairs Department.

DFAT has also upgraded its risk assessment of the Philippines, identifying Manila as a danger area for the first time.

Meanwhile, British rock group Oasis has cancelled its one-night concert in the Philippines tomorrow night, citing security concerns.

"Due to recent terrorist acts in both Bali and the Philippines, Oasis has regretfully decided not to play its show in Manila on Wednesday, October 23," the local concert promoter said.

DFAT's advice to travellers in Thailand said:
"Australians ... should exercise extreme caution, particularly in commercial and public areas known to be frequented by foreigners such as clubs, restaurants, bars, schools, places of worship, outdoor recreation events or tourist areas,".

It also warned travellers to be wary of unsolicited approaches by people recommending or offering to supply goods or services.

The upgraded advice for Manila and the Philippines was understood to stem from the latest bombings there, along with fresh Australian intelligence.

A Marine soldier was killed and 17 others were injured yesterday when a bomb exploded outside a Roman Catholic shrine in the city of Zamboanga.

Three days earlier, two bombs tore through shopping malls in Zamboanga's commercial district, killing seven people.

Jemaah Islamiah, the group many suspect as having orchestrated the Bali attacks, is believed to have sympathisers in the Philippines.

"Manila has experienced a series of bombing campaigns in recent years. A number of explosive devices were discovered in Manila earlier in 2002," the advice said.

"Further explosions are possible across the country, including in Manila."

DFAT's Thailand warning
Philippines warning


Last edited by Wirraway; 22nd Oct 2002 at 07:55.
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Old 27th Oct 2002, 12:24
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Bali Hotel Operators See Occupancy Falling Further
By I Made Sentana

JAKARTA (Dow Jones)--Hotel operators in Bali said Friday occupancy rates have slumped to historic lows of around 10% following the Oct. 12 bomb attack that killed more than 180 tourists, most of them Westerners.

And prospects for the coming weeks are even grimmer as more people cancel holidays, with occupancy rates expected to fall to as low as 5%, major hotels contacted by Dow Jones Newswires estimate, dealing a further blow to Bali's - and Indonesia's - tourism industry.

Many hoteliers predict it'll be at least one year before Bali can fully recover from the attack, provided there are no further major incidents on the island or elsewhere in Indonesia.

Occupancy rates fell to 20% immediately after the attack as many tourists cut short their holidays amid security fears. Others stayed on but are expected to leave in coming days, adding to the woes of hotels, restaurants and nightspots on the resort island, which derives more than 80% of its income from tourism.

Hotels were filling about 70% of total rooms before the devastating attack on the Sari Club along the busiest street of Bali's popular Kuta beach area.

"I think occupancy will continue to fall to around 5%-6% next week as the remaining tourists who are still here leave, while few will come," said Jero Gede Karang Suarsana, who owns the Bali Tropic hotel, a medium-sized hotel on Nusa Dua beach, which is about 30 minutes ride from Kuta.

The Hyatt - the U.S.-owned chain which runs an 800-room hotel on Nusa Dua - expects current occupancy rates of 10% to fall in coming weeks, but is forecasting a pickup in late December to around 30%.

Tourists from Indonesia and other Asian countries are still expected to come for year-end holidays, said Arifin Dharmawan, the Grand Hyatt Nusa Dua's marketing director.

But tourists from Western countries - including Australia, which lost many of its citizens in the bombing - are unlikely to come back any time soon due to travel warnings from their governments.

Travel Warnings

Australia, the U.S., and Britain are just some of the countries advising their citizens against travel to Indonesia on fears of further attacks targeted at Westerners.

President Megawati Sukarnoputri's government has failed to restore confidence since the blast, giving mixed signals about its commitment and ability to clamp down on militant groups operating on Indonesian soil.

No one is sure how long a recovery might take. In Luxor, Egypt, after a November 1997 attack that killed some 70 people, tourists began returning within six months, according to the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think-tank.

For Bali, the only certainty is for a huge upswing in unemployment on an island where a majority rely on tourism for a living.

Last year, the tourism industry in Bali - with around 1,400 hotels and guest houses and almost 750 restaurants - generated $1.4 billion of Indonesia's total $5.4 billion in tourism revenues.

Indonesia is likely to also lose out, with many analysts forecasting economic growth next year will fall short of previous expectations due to the loss of tourism revenues and other foreign direct investment.

Standard Chartered Bank for example expects gross domestic product in 2003 to grow by 3.3%, down from a forecast of 4.3% before the bombing.

-By I Made Sentana, Dow Jones Newswires; 6221 3983 1277; [email protected]
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