Melbourne Avalon will gain its first flight to Indonesia on January 24, when Citilink (QG, Surabaya) will launch a daily service from Denpasar, according to a press release issued by the Australian airport. The city pair is only the facility's second international route, adding to AirAsia X's existing service to Kuala Lumpur Int'l.

The Garuda Indonesia (GA, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta) subsidiary began flying between Perth Int'l and Denpasar in November last year, but this will be the airline's first service to Australia's eastern states. The 2,363-nautical mile (4,377-kilometre) sector will be operated by Citilink's 180-seat A320-200neo fleet. The arrival time into Bali will also provide great connections throughout other parts of Asia using the existing Citilink network.

“We’re excited to be able to make one of Australia’s most beloved holiday destinations a more affordable and easier experience for people wanting a great escape. Bali is our most requested international destination and one that we have been actively pursuing for some time,” said Avalon Airport Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Justin Giddings.

“Citilink has been fantastic to work with, and is highly regarded in the industry. It’s an honour to introduce this airline to the region, and make Bali more assessable for Melbourne, Geelong and Regional Victoria in particular. We’re certain the flights will be hugely successful.”

Citilink CEO Juliandra Nurtjahjo also commented on the announcement: "We are thrilled to launch our new route connecting between Denpasar and Melbourne. Citilink has become the first airline serving Denpasar and Avalon Airport route and we hope this will provide more options for people who want to visit Denpasar and vice versa." The CEO added that Australia had the second-highest number of visits to Indonesia in 2019 and as a result Citilink is optimistic to reach its target load factor of 70% on the Denpasar-Avalon route.

Avalon is hopeful of securing a Vietnam service in the near future too, having announced an agreement with VietJetAir (VJ, Hanoi) in October last year to commence a service from Ho Chi Minh City, although there were no specifics on a start date.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Citilink operates forty-one A320-200s, ten A320-200neo, seven ATR72-600s, a single A330-900neo, and a sole inactive B737-500.