Due to the heavy air traffic during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, around 673 commercial flights with capacity for 106,171 passengers have had to be cancelled.
Sherly Yunita, public relations officer at Ngurah Rai International Airport, told Bali Daily that the airport's management had received cancellation plans from several airlines.
"Around 673 commercial flights on the regular schedule that should have operated between Oct. 6 and Oct. 9 have already been cancelled. There should be 1,378 commercial flights scheduled on those days," Yunita said.
Yunita referred to the Transportation Ministry's announcement regarding the operation of Ngurah Rai airport on Oct. 6 through Oct. 9.
"Now, we have also received another notification for expected delays to commercial flights operating on Oct. 5 and Oct. 7," said Yunita.
On Oct. 6, there were 341 regular flights scheduled, while on Oct. 7 there should be 345 flights.
The following day, Oct. 8, the schedule was for 352 flights and on Oct. 9, 340 flights. But many of these flights had had to be cancelled or rescheduled, she explained.
On Oct. 7, eight flights would be rescheduled, Oct. 8 would see 32 flights cancelled and Oct. 9 a further 59 flights.
According to the latest data from the state-owned airport management company Perum Angkasa Pura (PAP) I Ngurah Rai, Garuda Indonesia cancelled 162 flights (25,993 seats) between Oct. 6 and Oct. 9. The national airline has had to reschedule a further 29 flights. During the four days, Garuda Indonesia had 318 regular flights scheduled.
Air Asia also cancelled 86 flights (15,482 seats) of its 186 flights, while Lion Air had to drop 80 flights (17,040 seats) out of its 160 scheduled flights.
Yunita said that so far Ngurah Rai airport operations had run quite smoothly before and during the APEC Summit.
The airport management is working together with the Indonesian Air Force and the Indonesian Navigation Aviation Service (LPPNI) to monitor the airline operation and ground handling.
Unfortunately, the organisation did not extend to ensuring taxis were available for passengers on delayed flights. Observation by Bali Daily early Sunday morning at the airport found no taxis, official or otherwise, available for passengers arriving on a flight scheduled to land at 10:35 p.m. Saturday, which finally arrived at Ngurah Rai at approximately 2:15 a.m. Sunday.
Already delayed incoming flights were forced to circle Bali while awaiting landing permission for over 30 minutes, and once landed still had to wait for parking slots as the airport was so busy.