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Take me away to paradise ...

A NEW Indonesian air carrier will service air routes left abandoned since the collapse of Ansett.

From September, Air Paradise International Pty Ltd will begin servicing routes from Perth and Melbourne flying to and from Denpasar.

Air Paradise International is an airline venture launched and financed by Bali-based Bounty Group owner, Kadek Wiranatha.

Air Paradise International national business manager Gary Hilt said Mr Wiranatha had developed the airline to fill the gap left by the Ansett collapse.

“With the demise of Ansett he saw a hole in the market,” Mr Hilt said.

“He (Mr Wiranatha) wanted to increase the tourism numbers to Bali.”

He said the airline would begin flying in September and would offer four flights a week departing from Perth to Denpasar and two flights a week from Melbourne.

Qantas currently offers four direct flights a week from Perth to Denpasar and one a week from Melbourne to Denpasar.

Garuda flies daily from Perth to Denpasar and four times a week from Melbourne to Denpasar.

Garuda International WA sales manager Rob Moro said the airline operated an extensive service to the region but welcomed the new player.

“We welcome competition and are sure that consumers will benefit,” he said.

A Qantas spokesperson said the airline had not increased its service to the region since the demise of Ansett and had no plans to expand its operations, although the company monitored the market closely.

Mr Hilt said that, while it was too early to discuss the finer details of Air Paradise International’s operations, he didn’t foresee ticket prices being heavily discounted.

“Our aim is to provide an additional competitive service,” he said.

“We’ll be realistic with our pricing but also competitive.”

Mr Hilt said Air Paradise Inter-national general manager Barry Hess, who is based in Bali, was currently negotiating leasing and licensing arrangements.

He said the company was in its early days and he and WA State sales manager Christine Ross were in the process of accessing and opening ticketing offices and recruiting staff.

Mr Hilt and Ms Ross have moved from their positions as sales executives within Garuda International to help make the new venture successful in Australia.

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