AirAsia Seeks More Lucrative Routes
AirAsia Cancels Makassar to Bali Flights
Resuming their practice of abrupt cancellation of flight routes deemed unprofitable, AirAsia have announced that they will stop flying between Makassar and Surabaya, East Java and Denpasar (Bali), effective June 1, 2014.
The Airline’s communication manager, Audrey Progastama Petriny, blamed the cessation of service on the affected routes on rising costs, saying: “Commercial costs for domestic routes continue to rise, and we need to take efficiency measures to cope with that.
AirAsia had earlier stopped flights from Makassar to Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Manado and Jakarta.
AirAsia has announced that all advanced purchase tickets on the cancelled routes are eligible for a full refund.
Batik Fashioned in Australia
Indonesian Lion Air Group Preparing to Launch Australian Subsidiary – Batik Air Australia
The Lion Air Group is planning to deploy a "new"l service air carrier Batik Air Australia to service the Australia market that the Group views as highly lucrative.
The CEO of Lion Air, Rusdi Kirana, told Bisnis.com that he has dispatched a team to Australia to undertake a detailed feasibility study while seeking the needed permits from Australian aviation authorities.
“The entire process can take one year. Therefore we are estimating that sometime next year Batik Air Australia can begin operations,” explained Kirana on Saturday, May 17, 2014.
The proposed airline will serve domestic routes in Australian connecting major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.
“Batik Air Australia will use several new aircrafts brought in by the Lion Air Group from either Boeing or Airbus,” he said.
The general director of Lion Air, Edward Sirait said the detailed feasibility study undertaken by the Lion Air Group was done to absolutely confirm the business prospects of Batik Air Australia.
“As a private company, we have to be wise in making business calculations and determining which markets have the most potential,” explained Sirait.
Another reason cited by Sirait for the detail market and feasibility study being undertaken in Australia is the fact that the civil aviation market in Australia is not as promising as that in the United States, with the Australian market in decline and cost saving measures being undertaken by other carriers taken into consideration.
Lion Air has place massive orders for new aircraft for delivery over the coming few years further necessitating the need to expand is flight network.
Making Tracks in Bali
Governor Says Round Bali Rail System to Begin Construction in 2015
Beritadewata.com reports that the provincial government of Bali has restated its commitment to build a rail system that circles the Island.
Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika explained on Monday, May 12, 2014, that he long ago lodged his desire with Jakarta for a rail service to circle the Island with officials in Jakarta.
“Right now (Jakarta) is still busy with politics. But after the elections development will resume. By a minimum of 2015 the construction can begin,” said the governor.
Pastika said the new Bali rail system already formed a part of the Master Plan for Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Development (MP3EI) with a preliminary budget allocation of at least Rp. 15 trillion (US$1.3 billion).
The construction will be undertaken by the State-Owed PT Kereta Api Indonesia (PT KAI) or a consortium.
Pastika said the design concept for the new rail system in Bali would differ from normal trains in that it will be primarily focused on tourism.
The governor said the first phase of the new railroad would connect Badung – Denpasar – Gianyar (Ubud).
The phased construction of the rail system would eventually cover the entire Island.
The system would eventually connect the existing airport and new airport in Buleleng, the capital, main tourist sites, land transportation terminals and seaports.
The province plans to trade provincially owned land for land held in private hands to obtain right of ways for the rail project.
A Month-Long Tribute to the Arts
36th Bali Arts Festival June 14-July 12, 2014
The 36th annual Bali Arts Festival will take place June 14- July 12, 2014 featuring dance, music and performance arts from Bali and around the world.
The provincial government of Bali has allocated Rp. 5.6 billion (US$487,000) to the month long event.
Most events will take place at the Taman Budaya Center in downtown Denpasar.
The theme for this year’s Bali Arts Festival is “Kertamasa” and will be dedicated to the dynamics of Bali’s agrarian society.
It is expected that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will open this year’s Bali Arts Festival on June 14th with a traditional grand parade through downtown Denpasar.
Cleared for Landing at Kubutambahan
Governor Selects Kubutambahan for Bali’s Second Airport of the North
Kompas.com reports that Governor Made Mangku Pastika has finally decided the location for the long-debated North Bali Airport.
Pastika has decided on the “eastern option” of a 600-hectare site at Kubutambahan in Bulelelng.
The governor was under pressure to come to his decision in order that the tender process for the airport project could commence.
The provincial government is now entertaining concept proposals from a variety of potential investors, including one from Singapore.
Estimates put the cost of the second air gateway at Rp. 3 trillion (US$261 million).
Pastika is pledging not to unduly displace or disturb religious temples or the local populace in the course of the airport project. “What’s clear, the development (of the airport) must be seriously and carefully undertaken. This includes thinking later about the surrounding infrastructure. We will strive to use provisional lands in a way that will not disturb the people,” the Governor explained.
The government plans for the new airport to be start construction in 2018.
Bumper to Bumper in Bali
Authorities Reveal Plans to Reduce Traffic Congestion in the Kuta Corridor
Despite the opening of Bali’s first toll way and the new underpass at the Dewa Ruci Monument, traffic congestion continues to be a major problem in Bali, primarily in the Kuta traffic corridor.
The head of the traffic division of the Badung Regency Department of Transportation, Communication and Information (Dihubkominfo), Tofan Priyanto, told the Regional House of Representative (DPRD-Badung) on May 19, 2014 that the flow of traffic on the North Kuta, Kuta, and South Kuta corridor is averaging some 4,000 vehicles per hour.
These high traffic levels result in some areas experiencing gridlock.
Given the road conditions in the Kuta corridor, a more ideal flow of traffic would be around 3,000 vehicles per hour.
In an effort to overcome the problem of traffic congestion a number of steps have been undertaken, including:
Stricter law enforcement on illegal parking on public roadways.
Priority planning and maximizing the use of feeder vehicles to the main public transport routes.
Limiting the use of certain vehicles in high traffic area, such as barring the entry of trucks weighing 5 tons or more from entering the Kuta area.
Dihubkominfo is pushing ahead with plans to install an Automated Traffic Control System (ATCS) in many areas of Kuta. The ATCS system employs surveillance equipment that will adjust the phasing of traffic lights at key intersections.
The ATCS system will initially be installed at six points across Kuta.
Tofan said the ATCS system will cost Rp. 4.1 billion (US$357,000) needed to purchase cameras and operating software, and the cost of building a sophisticated control room to operate the system.
Current plans are to install the ATCS at the following intersections:
Jalan Iman Bonjol and Sunset Road.
Jalan Mertanadi and Sunset Road.
Jalan Nakula and Sunset Road.
Jalan Kunti and Sunset Road.
The Banjar Semer intersection heading towards Canggu.
At the Petitenget intersection west of the Kerobokan penitentiary.
Eventually cameras will be in operation at all intersections that can both monitor traffic conditions on a real time basis as well as automatically count the volume of passing vehicles.
33% More Airplanes in a Single Year
Citilink Growing Armada with Delivery of 8 Airbus A-320 Before end of 2014
The Garuda low-price subsidiary Citilink will soon add eight Airbus A-320 aircraft.
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Benny S. Butarbutar, Citilink’s vice-president for corporate communications, said the planes would arrive commencing in June through the end of 2014.
Citilink's current armada consists of 24 airplanes operating a route network that is 95% composed of domestic destinations within Indonesia. The new Airbus A-320 acquisition will bring the fleet size to 32.
Butarbutar told Bisnis.com that Citilink is busily adding new planes, new routes and new software-based booking innovations.
He disclosed that 60% of Citilink’s ticket sales take place via travel agent and sales outlets at Alfamart, Indomart and 52 Carrefour outlets across Indonesia.
He went on to explain that the market segment served by Citilink is composed of middle-class and lower customers who purchase the airlines low-cost but not necessarily cheap tickets.
Crime in Paradise
Homicide Suspected in Death of Anne-Marie Drozdz in Ubud Villa
A 40-year-old resident of the United Kingdom, Anne-Marie Drozdz, was discovered dead in a villa in Ubud, Bali on Thursday, May 22, 2014.
Staying at "Rumah Hijau" (Green House) - a rental property owned by Astuti Widiati located in Jujungan, Ubud, Drozdz's badly bruised body was found by a man identified in the press as Gerry Hening William (60) of the U.S.A. who was reportedly delivering towels to the woman's villa.
The Jakarta Post identified William as the husband of the villa’s owner.
As reported by The Bali Post, the American arrived at the scene and noticed an entrance door damaged. When he entered the room, he discovered Dozdz's lifeless body sprawled on the floor, her head wrapped in a black cloth and her body covered in bruises.
A medical team from an Ubud clinic called to the scene confirmed death and noted signs of strangulation on Drozdz's throat. A medical worked also said her left arm was badly bruised and bleeding.
Forensic officers in Denpasar estimated death occurred 7-20 hours prior to the body’s discovery.
While results of a formal autopsy are still pending, the preliminary conclusion of investigators is that the women’s death was a case of homicide.
The last posting on Drozdz's Facebook page reads:
"Sometimes the strongest women are the ones who love beyond all faults, cry behind closed doors, and fight battles nobody knows about."
Beat it with a Club in Bali
Grand Nikko Bali Golf Tournament Saturday, June 14 2014
The Grand Nikko Bali will host its First Annual Golf Tournament on Saturday, June 14, 2104 at the Bali National Golf Club.
Registration begins at 11:00 am with tee off commencing at 1:00 pm.
“This is actually a continuation of a previous golfing event that the resort used to hold every year,” explained Jean-Charles Le Coz, the General Manager of Grand Nikko Bali. “However, following our recent re-branding we have decided to call it our ‘first’ annual tournament as everything is new, including the golf course itself!”
Winning categories include: Best Gross, Best Net, Bet Net Runner Up, Best Net Third Place, Best Gross Ladies, Best Net Ladies.
Additional awards in the skill competition category for: nearest to the pin, longest drive, nearest to the line, hole in one.
The registration fee of Rp. 1.5 million net (US$130) covers:
One round of golf at the Bali National Golf Club
Lunch Box and refreshments
Award Presentation Gala Dinner at the Grand Nikko Bali
Lucky draws will present air tickets, hotel stays in Bangkok and Osaka, and other prizes.
Join and have a chance to wine a brand new Honda Jazz.
Special accommodation packages are available at the Grand Nikko Bali starting from Rp. 1,350,000 net (US$118) per night including breakfast in a Garden View Room. First booking for accommodation will be upgraded to a luxurious Pool Villa. The next five bookings will be upgraded to Nikko Club Deluxe Beach Front Room and for the following five to an Ocean View Room.
Crime as an Equal Opportunity Oppressor
Bali Violent Crime Spree Not Limited to Foreigners
MetroBali.com reports that a 44-year-old Indonesian man has died following a savage sicle attack at Pasar Bualu, near the popular resort area of Nusa Dua.
The attack took place at 3:30 am on the morning of Thursday, May 22, 2014, when the man was bringing his wife to the market where they worked as a trader.
The victim, Abuyasit, was originally from the island of Madura in East Java. He worked as a seller of chicken meat and lived on Jalan Ayodya, Mumbul in South Bali.
The head of forensic medicine at Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital said the man suffered five separate stab wounds that included wounds to his neck, face, arm and back.
The fatal wound, according to forensic experts, was the one delivered to the right side of the man’s throat extending to his back and shoulder that severed an artery and also the man’s spinal column.
The attacker was reportedly unknown to the victim and attacked his victim with a large sickle.
Immediately after the attack Abuyasit was rushed by motorcycle to the nearby Surya Husada Hospital where due to the extent of his injuries and massive loss of blood he was transferred by ambulance to Sanglah General Hospital where he subsequently died.
Bali Police Chief Vows a Crackdown on Growing Crime Problem in Bali
The Jakarta Post reports that the Bali Police Chief, General Albertus Julius Benny Mokalu, has responded to complaints over mounting crime in Bali by pledging to heightened security, more patrols and the monitoring of recidivists living on Bali.
Said General Mokalu: “We have optimized all efforts to prevent crimes. We conduct routine operations; we have priority targets, by for example monitoring recidivists. Based on criminology, perpetrators tend to repeat crimes.”
In recent days, expatriates in Bali have organized themselves demanding a stronger police response to violent crime, largely perpetrated against women.
Various Facebook pages campaigning for a safer Bali have been launched together with peace and order vigils to demanding greater safety in the community.
In less than a single week Bali has been rocked by the death of an 18-year-old South Korean Woman in Denpasar who died during a purse snatching and the death of a U.K. Resident in her rented villa in Ubud.
The Bali Chief of Police insists his officers are working hard to solve crime but said community support is needed to make Bali a safer place to live.
Adding that crime can never be completely eradicated, General Benny said: “In any area or province, crime can never reach zero. It is impossible. Because of population growth, economic growth, social circumstances and many other things, of course, crimes will occur.”
West Bali Working to Stave Off an Exodus of Commercial Sex Workers from Surabaya’s Dolly Prostitution Center
The regency of Jembrana in Western Bali is anticipating a massive influx of commercial sex workers on the eve of plans to close the Dolly Commercial Sex Center in Surabaya.
The Dolly Street area holds the dubious distinction of being the largest prostitution center in Southeast Asia.
As reported by Suara Pembaruan, the head of the local law enforcement agency for Jembrana (Satpol PP), I Gusti Ngurah Rai Budi, described steps to prevent Surabaya’s prostitution business from relocating to Bali, saying: “We have certainly taken anticipative steps (to prevent an influx of prostitutes), especially in entertainment centers operating in Jimbrana. We will increase residency checks of personal identification.”
Check of ID cards will be undertaken at bars and entertainment centers, boarding houses and hotels, and other places where there are indications of prostitution.
“We are also asking village chiefs to keep record on all new arrivals in their locales and require them to hold a declaration of temporary residence (SKTS),” Bud explained.
Newcomers found to be without the proper identification or discovered to be involved in commercial sex will be returned to their home areas.
A fear that the sex workers of Dolly would move to Jembrana and set up shop was also expressed my Nur Hariri, a local community activist who is concerned about the potential for a contagion of HIV/AIDS. Because of this, Hariri is asking the Jembrana official be diligent in carrying our enforcement operations.
Bali at the Breaking Point
Tourism Experts Warn that Island’s Carrying Capacity is Being Exceeded
The Jakarta Post warns that Bali will soon reach a saturation point in terms of its carrying capacity, natural resources and physicals space.
A lecturer from Bali’s Udayana University Tourism School, Nyoman Sukma Arida, said: There have been crucial changes in Balinese culture and the lives of its people due to the flood of tourists and tourism development.”
Bali’s population is now estimated at 4 million, a number that does no include a large floating expatriate population and the daily influx of tourist visitors, both foreign and domestic, approaching 10 million in the course of a year.
Arida continued warning that massive exploitation of water and food resources is taking place.” Tourist visitors are he massive consumers of fresh water, using 1,500 liters per day while the Balinese only need 120 liters per day," he said.
The Bali Hotels Association says its member consume 50,000 cubic meter of water each day.
The tourism academic also warns that Bali’s agricultural lands are vanishing as they are converted residential and tourism developments.
According to Arida, efforts by the province to earn special autonomous region status for the Island have been unsuccessful. Those supporting the special status for Bali argued that it would provide more central government funding needed to curb uncontrolled development and protect the Island’s natural state.
Also unsuccessful have been efforts by Bali’s governor to introduce a moratorium on new hotel projects in the Island’s south, an efforts opposed by the regent of Badung who insists new hotels provide for a wider tax base despite a ponderous over-supply of rooms.
In a further effort to divert tourist loads away from Bali, a “Bali and Beyond” tourism concept is being championed to make Bali a transit gateway to other parts of Indonesia.
Be Careful in the Kingdom
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Issues Guidelines for Indonesians Living or Visiting Thailand
The developing political crisis in the Kingdom of Thailand has prompted the Indonesian Government to issue advice and warnings to Indonesian visiting or resident in the country.
Following the declaration of a coup d’état by the Thai military, the Indonesian Embassy in Thailand issued a circular announcement stating:
Effective 5:00 pm on May 22, 2014 the Thai Armed Forces took control of the nation, declaring martial law, with a curfew in effect between the hours of 10:00 pm and 5:00 am each day.
Advising Indonesians to avoid areas of demonstrations or mass gatherings particularly at night, and to closely monitor the developing situation.
To stay at their hotel or residence and only venture out if absolutely necessary, especially in the evening hours.
To avoid wearing accessories or clothing that are red, yellow or black - colors that could wrongly identify the wearer as a member of a political faction.
To immediate advise the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok if they are involved in some sort of situation connected with the current state of affairs in Bangkok.
To always carry personal identification.
To monitor closely information provided and updated by the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok
The Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok has formed a special team comprised of Indonesian residents in Thailand and Indonesian students to provided information and assistance to the public.
Special telephone lines have been established to assist the public at
or via the Internet at www.kemlu.go.id/bangkok or https://www.facebook.com/komunitasindonesia.dithailand?
The Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok is located at 600-602 Pethnuri Road, Payathai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.
Tourist Can’t Teach
Education Ministry Tightens Control and Surveillance of Foreign Teachers
Following a recent scandal involving sexual attacks on children at the Jakarta International School, the Director General of Early Non-formal and Formal Education from the Ministry of Education and Culture, Lidya Freyani Hawadi, warns that foreign tourists cannot work as teachers in Indonesia.
“Foreign tourists can only stay for three months, they can’t become teachers or educators at any school or any course,” said Lidya quoted by Republika.co.id in a press conference in Jakarta on Friday, May 23, 2014.
The Director General’s comments could have far reaching effect on many language courses and volunteer teacher programs operated by foundations in Bali.
According to Lydia, people teaching in Indonesia must be registered with the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration (Kemenakertrans) and the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemdikbud). Rules set out by Kemenakertrans also stipulate that teachers in Indonesia must have a command of the Indonesian language. Moreover, the subjects taught by foreigners must match their educational backgrounds.
“For example, someone who has graduated as a kindergarten teacher cannot teach grade school,” she continued.
These stipulations are in conformance with Regulations of the Ministry of Education Number 31 of 2014 on Cooperation between Operators of Foreign Educational Institutions and the Indonesian Counterparts.
Lydia went on to explain that educators coming from overseas must have, among others, certificates of good health and prove that they are not involved in missionary work.
“For foreign teachers in international schools the maximum percentage among all teachers is 70% and for those working in non-teaching position the maximum amount of foreigners to be employed is 20%,” she added.
Police Arrest Construction Worker in Murder of U.K. Woman in Ubud, Bali
A combined team from the Bali and Jakarta Police Forces has managed to arrest a suspect in the murder of U.K. resident Anne Marie Kathryn Drozdz (40) who was murdered in Ubud on Thursday, May 22, 2014.
Less than 24 hours after the crime, police managed to pursue a suspect to a rented residence in Pluit, North Jakarta, where he was arested on Friday evening.
A man named Hambali, originally from Karawang in West Java, has been taken into custody and flown back to Bali for questioning.
Click Image to Enlarge
Police Comissioner Refi Pribadi told MetroBali.com on Saturday, May 24, 2014: “From indications, evidence and other information gathered from the crime scene points to Hambali as the perpetrator of the crime.”
Refi said that Hambali, who was employed as a construction worker, killed Dozdz in the course of a robbery.
“The suspect was a construction worker employed near where the crime took place. Based on the initial investigation, only one perpetrator has been identified. We continue to develop the case.,” explained Refi
Making Kuta’s Byways Safer
Community Group in Kuta to Form Neighborhood Watch Program to Reduce Mugging and Pick Pocketing
The Balinese residents of Banjar Pangabetan –the area surrounding Jalan Benesari and Jalan Poppies II in Kuta – are mapping out plans for a “neighborhood watch” program in order to thwart rising criminality in that area.
In recent months reports of thuggery, theft and purse snatching have become more prevalent on the two lanes feeding into the main traffic arteries of Kuta.
DenPost reports the vice chairman of the Local Community Association (LPM) in Kuta, Nyoman Hadi Wira Atmaja, confirmed that plans are being drawn up to enhance community security.
“Criminals are stalking their targets to the entrances of their hotels. There are muggings taking place almost every day,” said Hadi.
The community leader blamed the increase in muggings on the refusal of taxis in Legian to use their meters in the ate night hours, preferring instead to seek much higher negotiated fares.
As a result, many tourists opt to walk back to their hotels increasing their exposure to bag snatchers and muggers. Hadi said that if taxis would charge more reasonable fares, visitors would use this form of transportation, thereby reducing the criminal incidents.
DenPost says that both children and adults are perpetrating criminal acts in the area. Children involved in thefts circulate selling bracelets and other accessories in the process of pick pocketing or snatching valuables away from unsuspecting tourists.
Hadi told the press that he hoped the police would provide optimal security to visitors and help reduce rates of criminality. “But this problem (criminality) will also get our (the community’s) attention. In addition, we hope the police will also give their attention,” he added.
Working to Eliminate Rabies
Bali Capital to Vaccinate 55,000 Dogs Against Rabies in 2014
The government of Bali’s capital city of Denpasar is targeting to vaccinate 55,000 dogs during 2014.
The head of Animal Health for Denpasar, Dr. Luh Sri Urpini, told Metrobali.com on Saturday, May 24, 2014, “To this point, two districts – West and East Denpasar, have almost completed vaccinations.”
The vaccination program runs from April 15 through June 2014.
“In 2013 we have vaccinated 53,000 dogs in Denpasar,” said Dr. Urpini.
Those performing the vaccinations are veterinarians assigned to the Denpasar government and a number of newly graduated doctors.
Health workers report that local communities and dog owners are responding positively to the vaccination program.
Health officials are also noting a dramatic decrease in the number of feral dogs living in each Banjar. In times past, the number of such “wild” dogs averaged around 50 animals in each Banjar, a number that now averages closer to 20 dogs.