Jetstar slammed for selling cheap Bali flights

Written By komlim puldel on Selasa, 17 Februari 2015 | 20.01

Under fire ... Jetstar has come under fire for promoting cheap flights to Bali as Indonesia prepares to execute Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Picture: Supplied. Source: News Corp Australia

JETSTAR is copping criticism for promoting cheap fares to Bali at a time when two Australian men are facing execution on the Indonesian island.

The budget carrier is offering one-way fares from $99 one way between Darwin and Denpasar until February 24, for travel between October 7 and December 17 this year.

One way business class flights are available from $549.

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The sale has been questioned on social media as in poor taste given the looming executions of Australians Andrew Chan and Myurun Sukumaran.

"Not very sensitive" tweeted LJ Loch, while Garry Parmenter posted on Facebook: "Just when the pressure on Indonesia to halt these executions appears to be working, Jetstar releases super cheap tickets to Bali. Would you go?"

Despite repeated appeals for clemency from the men's families and Australian leaders, the pair appears set to be put to death by firing squad in a field in coming weeks, for their part in a plot to smuggle heroin from Bali to Australia in 2005.

A Jetstar spokesman yesterday said they had experienced no change in bookings to Bali despite a social media campaign to "boycott Bali".

Travel agencies also indicated there had been no sign travellers were actively avoiding the Indonesian holiday island — which is the most popular overseas destination for Australian travellers.

Jayson Westbury from the Australian Federation of Travel Agents said any backlash would probably not be apparent for several months.

"When you have something like a natural disaster or terrorist attack, the impact (on bookings) is immediate," said Mr Westbury.

"It may not be until much later this year until we know if people have chosen to book a holiday elsewhere, as a result of the executions."

Inappropriate ... Social media users have condemned Jetstar for promoting cheap airfares to Bali at the same time as the Bali Nine duo are to be executed. Picture: Tim Marsden. Source: News Corp Australia

Flight Centre spokesman Haydn Long said they had not seen any evidence of a fall in bookings.

"But travellers don't usually go into a travel agency and say "we want to go to Fiji because we don't want to go to Bali"," said Mr Long.

Mr Westbury said travellers had known for a long time that Indonesia imposed the death penalty for certain crimes, as did countries like the United Arab Emirates, and some states of America.

A spokeswoman for cheapflights.com.au said Bali was one of the most popular destinations searched for on the site.

"I don't see any major decline in inquiries for this time of year," she said.

In 2014, Bali overtook the US as the most popular holiday spot for Aussie travellers, based on hotel bookings.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows around 100,000 Australians travel to Indonesia each month, with most of those heading for Bali.

A Jetstar spokesman said the airline regularly offered sales across the network, and currently a sale was on for flights to Bangkok and Phuket, as well as Bali.


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