It is the only carrier using jet airplanes on domestic routes. Garuda has several flights daily from Jakarta to Bali, Medan, Ujung Pandang, Manado, Balikpapan and other destinations. Shuttle flights run to Surabaya, Semarang< Bandung and Bandar lampung.
Merpati (a few years ago) also offers regular services to 100 destinations within Indonesia. Of special interest are the “pioneer flights” to tremote destinations nor served by other airlines. Merpati is particularly active in eastern Indonesia, serving the smaller islands and interiors of Sulawesi, kalimantan and Irian Jaya. Beside Garuda and Merpati, there are also several privately owned airlines with both scheduled and charter services. Those with scheduled services include Bouraq, Mandala and Sempati (its same with Merpati story). Addresses of international and domestic airline offices are given on page 229.
You will most probably be using the domestic air network in Indonesia. Garuda, Merpati and Bouraq are the principal carriers, between them covering a veritable labyrinth of destinations. If you intend travelling by plane frequently you should obtain a copy of the timetables and latest fares from the respective company. With the information, a seemingly endless variety of itinerarries can be planned. The addresses of the three domestic carrier are; Garuda Indonesia Airways, Head Office, Jl. Merdeka Selatan 13, Jakarta 110110, Tel: 370709 – Merpati Nusantara Airlines, Jl. Angkasa 2, Jakarta, tel: 413608. And Bourqa Indonesia Airlines, Jl. Angkasa 1 -3, Jakarta, Tel: 655170 (Story Merpati and Bourqa).
Airlines in Indonesia
Getting reliable information on Indonesian domestic flights can be a challenge – some airlines on minor routes don’t show up on travel websites, although www.traveloka.com and www.skyscanner.com are fairly complete. You can also check with local airline offices and travel agents; local hotel and tour operators are often the best sources.
The domestic flight network continues to grow; schedules and rates are in a constant state of flux.
Small carriers servicing remote routes often operate cramped and dated aircraft.
With tiny regional airlines, reconfirm your ticket and hang around the check-in desk if the flight is full. Sometimes reservations are ‘lost’ when another passenger with more clout shows up.
Almost a dozen major airlines fly domestically.
Batik Air (www.batikair.com) Full-service subsidiary of Lion Air.
Citilink (www.citilink.co.id) Budget subsidiary to Garuda Indonesia which links major cities.
Dimonim Air (www.dimonimair.com) Flights from Ambon to the Banda Islands.
Garuda Indonesia (www.garuda-indonesia.com) Serves major destinations across the archipelago. Tickets are easily bought online.
Indonesia AirAsia (www.airasia.com) Fast-growing budget carrier that is a subsidiary of its Malaysian-based parent.
Kalstar (www.kalstaronline.com) Serves Kalimantan, with links to Jakarta.
Lion Air/Wings Air (www.lionair.co.id) Fast-growing Indonesian budget carrier (Wings Air operate prop planes to small destinations) with myriad flights.
NAM Air Subsidiary of Sriwijaya with many short-hop routes.
Sriwijaya Air (www.sriwijayaair.co.id) Services across Indonesia.
Susi Air (www.susiair.com) Routes across Indonesia.
Transnusa (www.transnusa.co.id) Good for flights within Nusa Tenggara and for flights from Denpasar to places like Labuanbajo.
The larger Indonesian-based carriers have websites listing fares, however it may be difficult to purchase tickets over the internet using non-Indonesian credit cards. Consider the following methods.
Travel Agents A good way to buy domestic tickets once you’re in Indonesia. This is often the best way to get the lowest fares.
Travel websites Many general sites accept international cards.
Friends Get an Indonesian friend or guesthouse owner to buy you a ticket using their credit card, then pay them back.
Airport Some airlines will sell you a ticket at the airport, although travel agents and airline city offices are more reliable.
Large international booking websites such as www.expedia.com may only show Garuda Indonesia flights and then only offer very expensive airfares. Try the following to purchase tickets online.
Airline Websites Some carriers, notably Garuda Indonesia and Indonesia AirAsia, have websites that accept foreign credit cards. Lion Air is a notable exception.
www.skyscanner.com Accepts foreign cards but doesn’t show all airlines.
www.tiket.com Not all foreign cards work but shows most domestic airlines.
www.traveloka.com Lists many domestic airlines although foreign cards don’t always work. A good source for schedule info.