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Merry Christmas Merpati, and a Happy New Year Batavia!

Plane ticket prices must be the only price that is dropping in Dili, but they are, indeed they are.

Well we have all heard about a new airline coming to the Dili-Bali route for some time. Usually hopes are raised and then dashed. Well its now a fact, and prices are dropping dropping dropping.

First news came out yesterday and was pushed via Timor-Leste Tweeps “@malaebulak” and “@giantpandinha“.

Then weekly newspaper Tempo Semanal has just published on its online edition news a story about Indonesian airline Batavia commencing operations in Dili in cooperation with a group of Timorese businesspeople. First flight today?

Then I looked at a recent airline ticket I booked and noticed a shocking 33% drop in the Merpati ticket. Competition has arrived.

Merpati price plummets to $238

Those Batavia lads must have read my earlier blog posting on “Timorese Confidence” and slapped the plane on the deck, either that or just realised that undercutting Merpati on its most profitable route just made “plane” good sense.

Book on Batavia here:

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  1. Ann Turner says:

    I agree, great news. But there is a school of thought in Dili that sees this development as a killer for the nascent domestic tourism industry and a disincentive to resident expats to stay and spend their dollars in the local economy. They have a point, but I believe it’s far more important to look towards getting some bums on seats from outside, Dili-bound!

  2. Jim Richards says:

    It is great to see the fares reduce to what is a better level but again i agree with anne. The fares where more than they should have been earlier and now they are cheaper than you will ever get again. With this said i used to work at the airport as base manager for Airnorth and Info Officer for PAE under the UN Contract. The reason i say this is that i have see Mandala, Malaysia Airlines, Pink Jet (Can Not remember the name) all come and try to do the same thing as Batavia. Merpati just crushed them and i am hoping the Batavia can hold out as it has never happened in Timor leste before.

  3. […] something of plane spotters.  We have blogged a bit on the nascent airline business in Timor-Leste December 2010, and February […]

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