Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield finds so much happening in Bali, while Star Alliance and Flight Centre celebrate significant anniversaries
Since last Wednesday, May 18, vaccinated travellers to Bali and the rest of Indonesia no longer have to present a negative COVID-19 test. Wiku Adisasmito, speaking for Indonesia’s COVID-19 task force, says mask-wearing policy is also loosened: “If people are conducting activities in outdoor spaces which are not crowded, they are allowed to not wear masks.”
FOUR HOURS TO BALI
AirAsia started flying from Perth to Bali again on Monday, May 16. The inaugural flight was 93 per cent full, covering the distance from Perth Airport to Ngurah Rai Airport, Denpasar, in three hours and 50 minutes — quicker than driving to Geraldton. Yes, it feels like the old days, doesn’t it? AirAsia Indonesia chief executive Veranita Yosephine says: “We are thrilled to return to Western Australia. It was truly an incredible moment to welcome everyone aboard our first flight from Perth to Bali since March 2020.” To start with, AirAsia flies the route every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Reader David Vicars is already in Seminyak, enjoying the food. He writes: “We did Sarong last night and it was as spectacular as ever and fully booked. Revolver café is busy and it seems the smart operators have evolved with night offerings now and other new strings to their bow. It’s great to be back.”
Jumeirah Bali has just opened in Uluwatu, with 123 one- and two-bedroom villas, all with a private pool, outdoor living area and open pavilion. There’s exclusive access to a private beach. There are three signature restaurants and bars overseen by chef Vincent Leroux:
+ Scheduled to open in June, AKASA Gastro Grill delivers a unique culinary experience, with a resident DJ and mixologist providing the perfect spot to relax.
+ All-day dining spot Segaran offers exquisite Balinese and South-East Asian cuisine.
+ MAJA Sunset Pool Lounge will serve as an ideal evening spot to enjoy cocktails overlooking the ocean.
FUNDS FOR FLIGHTS
The WA Government is putting more than $4 million of taxpayers’ money into supporting an expansion of the Inter-Regional Flight Network. Operated by Aviair, the flights will increase connectivity and capacity across the Mid West, Pilbara and Kimberley. Plans include a new Karratha to Geraldton service.
TRIFLE NO TRIFLE
With Qantas’ direct flight to London restarting on May 23, visitors to the Old Dart might look out for a lemon and amaretti trifle. It is the official pudding for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, celebrating her 70-year reign. Amateur cook Jemma Melvin came up with the dessert, having been inspired by the lemon posset served at the Queen’s 1947 wedding to Prince Philip. Jemma’s concoction has layers of lemon curd and custard, St Clement’s jelly, a mandarin coulis and amaretti biscuits.
STAR IS 25
Star Alliance has celebrated its 25th anniversary. It was the world’s first airline alliance and has come up with some innovations to mark the occasion:
+ A soon-to-be-unveiled Star Alliance credit card will enable passengers to redeem points across all 26 Star Alliance member carriers.
+ Star Alliance Biometrics, launched in 2020, is now available in Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg and Vienna.
+ The alliance will continue to develop the ability to reserve seats and track baggage on codeshare flights and multi-carrier journeys through the digital channels of member carriers.
The 26 members include Singapore Airlines, Thai, Air New Zealand, South African Airways and Air Canada.
FLIGHT CENTRE IS 40
Flight Centre celebrates four decades in business this month, and founder Graham “Skroo” Turner has shared the plan for “Flight Centre Brand 4.0”. A statement says Flight Centre has come up with an “industry-first blended ecosystem of technology and traditional booking systems”. That, in plain language, is online, a call centre and shops. The statement reads: “At the heart of FCB 4.0 is Flight Centre’s ‘omni-retailing’ concept. This ties together the different ways Flight Centre clients book travel: in-store, on mobile or desktop, over the phone or via the Flight Centre app.”
NEW BED COVERS
Airbnb has announced the new AirCover for guests, which a spokesperson says will be included with every stay. It includes a booking protection guarantee, check-in guarantee, get-what-you-booked guarantee and a 24-hour safety line.
REBOOT & TRANSFORM
United Nations general assembly president Abdulla Shahid stresses the importance of tourism, particularly for small islands and developing states:
“We face a critical opportunity to not only reboot tourism, upon which so many are dependent for their jobs and livelihoods, but to transform it to make it more resilient, more sustainable and more responsible.”
RED RED RED
Long-established Swiss brand Victorinox has received more Red Dot Design Awards, which recognise outstanding design.
While the elegant Classic Precious Alox Collection of pocket knives and Mini Tool FireAnt Set (a fire starter) are certainly interesting, it’s the Spectra 3.0 trolley collection that has caught my eye. The collection introduces a new sustainability standard, using a recycled, next-generation polycarbonate shell material. Within the range, the Global Carry-On has a a practical front opening compartment and the Frequent Flyer Carry-On has a new, built-in and improved self-expandable system. Oh, and most importantly, they come in Victorinox red.