Oct 28

Philippines Airlines soon flying Manila direct to Bali The Philippines and Indonesia are 2 of the favorite travel destinations in South East Asia for the readers of this website. Quite a few islands in the Philippines, as Bali in Indonesia are very valid options for Expats and early retirees to stay long-term and enjoying the good life in those equator paradises.

The times of expensive flights to reach them are luckily over with the introduction of budget carriers a few years back. Still, it was so far a hassle, if you wanted to commute from Indonesia’s prime holiday destination Bali to one of the other island paradises in  the Philippines. Will that finally change very soon?

Until now, there was never a direct flight connection between the Philippines and Bali.

So far you had to fly from Manila or Cebu via the other Asian Capital cities, mainly Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta  to reach Bali.

Cebu Pacific Routes include currently Jakarta but not BaliBesides the additional landing and stopover, this would also mean almost always hassles, likes juggling your luggage around, additional checkins etc, if you would have to change the airline, as most didn’t fly through between both destinations.

The only options so far were Singapore Airlines via Singapore and Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong, both not known for very competitive pricing.

Budget carriers like Air Asia, Tiger Airways or Cebupacific either only allowed connecting flights via their hub systems, are flying from smaller and more difficult to reach airports like Clark in Luzon or added a couple of hours of stopover to your travel itinerary.

Of course there were always discussions about direct connections between both locations, the hottest talk of the town was last year, when Cebupacific was rumored to introduce Cebu-Bali or Manila-Bali flights soon.

CebuPacific was rumored to fly MNL-DPS soon Just imagine how cool it would be, if you have your base in Bali and would be able to surf the Kuta swell in the morning, hop on a plane and go shopping in the Mall of Asia in Manila in the evening, connect that with a visit to the IMAX 3D theatre, sip a few of your favorite cold San Miguel there and be back the next day to surf again – instead of the usual plain Visa Runs to the Duty Free Shop at Changi Singapore to just getting your 1 liter of Absolute Vodka, Tequila or Single Malt.

Or you could easily enjoy the crazy nightlife of Manila over a weekend without arriving there already tired, after before close to 10 hours travel when coming from Bali. A direct route should cut that short to 4-5 hours maximum.

Or Boracay, El Nido and Bohol would be just one plane change away from Bali! Something really unheard of since the discovery of flight over 100 years ago. Lol! It would be so easy now to continue looking for your other island paradises or enjoying the cheap costs of living in Pinas for a while, while maintaining a base in one of Asia’s other most developed yet still affordable prime holiday destinations – Bali.

However, nothing of that ever materialized. So far.

But now it seems, like we will be able to be flying from Manila (MNL) to Bali (DPS) or vice versa direct soon! Could it really be, that Philippine Airlines (PAL) will introduce a direct service as early as December this year? I’m talking 2010 here, that would be in less than 2 months!


Philippine Airlines - the winner in introducing the first direct Manila Bali flight Press your thumbs, hold your breath or do what you usually do to make wishful thinking happen. This rumor was published first last week in the Travel Trade Gazette. In this magazine, the Group Director of PAL’s Sales arm was quoted, that PAL sees Bali as an interesting travel destination to connect their existing network from Korea, Japan, China and Manila to it.

That sounds really official!

Especially the Japan connection seems to make sense, as both JAL and All Nippon Air ceased their direct flights to Bali this October 2010 due to economic problems following the financial crisis. PAL could step in here and fill the gap, as many Korean and Japanese tourists visit Manila anyway and would probably be interested in a connecting option.

Also for North American tourists it could be an added option, as Manila is a popular stopover destination for them, when flying to South East Asia.

We want Manila – Denpasar. MNL-DPS, DPS-MNL, Bali – Manila. Any which way! ;-)

Hopefully the pricing will be competitive also. If a ticket would be in the same price region as currently 2 connecting tickets from budget carriers, this route could really take off big time!

What do you think? Is the option to fly Bali to Manila or vice versa direct an interesting option for you? Or does just another stopover not really matter that much?

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written by Chris

16 Responses to “Philippines and Bali soon directly connected”

  1. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    That would be the perfect Visa-run destination from Bali, let’s hope they do it!

  2. Lindsay AllanNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi you say there will be direct flight from Bali to Minila however you do not say when. I am trying to fly around 16 november and nothing comes up . can you give me some help :(( thank you

  3. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Jurgen, maybe for Visa Run only it would be a bit too expensive, but hey – why not extend a few more days over there and enjoy Manila and/or surrounding islands, right?` ;-)

    Lindsay Allan, just read again. I and they said, that this route probably starts as early as December this year. Although no concrete date is mentioned, it would probably come too late for you anyway. Tough luck, but don’t worry, next time then! :D

  4. MindanaoBobNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    It’s my first time to hear about this, Chris! It sounds like good news! Now, if they would only add a Davao-Bali flight… well, I’d be very happy! =D>

  5. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Yes, that’s great news, isn’t it MindanaoBob, if it indeed comes true later this or early next year. Am just waiting for the promotional special to go online, so I can book my next Pinas trip for Q1/2011 this way. And come on, even for you Bob, with just 1 stopover in Manila left then, Bali is not out of reach anymore. You could sample some beer Bintangs and Nasi Goreng or Nasi Campur for a short holiday with Feyma and the kids! ;;)

  6. KatieNo Gravatar FRANCE Says:

    Hope this happens by Christmas, I could plan my holidays accordingly

  7. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    I’m with you Katie! Waiting for the initial promotion to book this flight soonest. Hehehe! :D

  8. shintaNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    hi. i am very excited of this great news also, since i am considering a trip to the philippines. i have a question that you might can answer based on your experience living in the phil. which beach destination is it to have a sunbathing-snorkeling-chillaxing kind of trip as we have here in Gili, Lombok? where it isn’t too many families,and offers affordable AirConned bungalows. i have heard about boracay and malcapuya, but still not sure.

  9. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Ola shinta (nice name by the way), you might want to check out 2 articles, this one about the best, good and ugly in the Philippines and here some more details about holiday islands there. Just ask, if you have any specific questions! ;;)

  10. dodong floresNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi, Chris. That’s a good news!

  11. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Dodong Flores, yeah great news – only problem: it didn’t materialize yet into bookable flights. Hope they keep their word, can’t wait!

  12. NaiaNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    We want CEB – DPS – CEB!

  13. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Naia, I agree 100% with you! That would be the coolest thing and would make me come back to Pinas more often. The stopover via Manila almost always eats a whole day out the itinerary and would be completely unnecessary, if I just want to have a nice holiday on one of the surrounding island of Cebu or even Boracay.

  14. rené kriegNo Gravatar SWITZERLAND Says:

    thats is a good idee to flight from manila or cebu direct to bali!
    i hope cebu pacific or philippines airlines do it so quick at possible.

  15. JoeNo Gravatar SWITZERLAND Says:

    Hi Chris,
    Nice blog !
    I am planning a few week either in the Philippines or Bali in early July.
    It seems that the weather is pretty bad in July (hot and wet) in the Philippines but really nice in Bali.
    What do you think?
    One more question, is that easy to rent a car/bike in Bali for a few days in order to make a tour?

  16. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Joe, unfortunately the weather is becoming more and more unpredictable in SE Asia. Normally it should we rainy season in Bali from November to April, which is south of the equator and the other way around North of the equator (e.g. most parts of the Philippines). But the last 2 years it was raining in Bali almost all year and the Philippines had their fair share of funny weather also. That doesn’t mean, it will rain all day, so don’t worry – it’s still hot and with more sunny days than Europe and Switzerland.

    And yes, it’s easy to rent car or bike in Bali, for prices, check here. Enjoy your trip! ;-)

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