Is It Safe?

Last updated: May 4, 2015
Airline Ratings logo

Independent research answers a common question about Indonesian airlines.

One of the more frequently asked questions the author receives about Indonesian airlines is about the recommended airline’s safety record. It is relatively difficult to answer the question using independent research and statistics, until now.

Airline Ratings logo 2

A new website uses “recognised industry processes and organisations” to rate the safety (and quality) of airlines around the world to help passengers make an informed choice. It claims to provide:

an objective A-Z portrayal of the global airline industry with an industry first transparent airline safety rating system.

Seven Indonesian airlines were rated; the results are below. To give a more complete picture, the table also includes some additional measures of safety:

  • – Whether or not the airline is permitted to fly in EU airspace
  • – How many accidents – fatal and non-fatal – the airline has had since 1 January 2009.
Airline Safety
Permitted To Fly
In EU Airspace
No. Accidents In
Last 5 Years
air-asia-logo-small StarStar EU Approved Non-Fatal accidents: 0
Fatal Accidents: 1
Citilink logo Star Not EU Approved Non-Fatal accidents: 0
Fatal Accidents: 0
Garuda Indonesia logo StarStarStar EU Approved Non-Fatal accidents: 0
Fatal Accidents: 0
Lion Air logo Star Not EU Approved Non-Fatal accidents: 4
Fatal Accidents: 0
Susi Air logo Not EU Approved Non-Fatal accidents: 1
Fatal Accidents: 3
Airline Safety
Permitted To Fly
In EU Airspace
No. Accidents In
Last 5 Years
Sriwijaya Air logo Star Not EU Approved Non-Fatal accidents: 2
Fatal Accidents: 0
Trigana Air logo Not EU Approved Non-Fatal accidents: 1
Fatal Accidents: 1
Wings Air logo Star Not EU Approved Non-Fatal accidents: 0
Fatal Accidents: 0
New Express Air logo Star Not EU Approved Non-Fatal accidents: 1
Fatal Accidents: 0

Sources: Airline Ratings, EU Blacklist Indonesia, Wikipedia

Is Lion Air Under-rated?

Lion Air Crash Landing In Bali
Lion Air
Deaths: 0
Air France Crash
Air France
Deaths: 228

One industry commentator has questioned how Air France received a six-star rating when pilot error caused a 2009 crash killing all 228 passengers and crew, while Indonesia’s largest airline Lion Air received two stars with no fatalities. editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas responded:

We use ICAO and IATA’s Operational and Safety (IOSA) audits, as you suggest the EU black list, the FAA assessment and then fatalities over the past 10 years…. [Lion Air] failed the IOSA audit, is banned from the EU and the US and tragically passengers have lost their lives.

The last fatal Lion Air crash was in 2004, using an aircraft type (MD-82) that is no longer in service, landing in heavy rain. Seven-star airlines Qantas and Singapore Airlines have had similar accidents.

What About Other Airlines?

Obviously, it is not possible for websites like these to cover every airline. The following are not rated:

Batavia Air logo Kal-Star logo TransNusa logo

For the others, the standard response is that Mau Ke Mana doesn’t sell tickets on airlines it has safety concerns about. Also, the author has personally flown on most of these airlines and would happily do so again.

If you have a question about the safety of a particular Indonesian airline or more generally about flying in Indonesia, please ask it below in the comment field.

42 Comments on “Is It Safe?”

  1. avatar Dave says:

    Bali and Lombok may not be affected by haze but aren’t they affected by intermittent Mt Rinjani eruption?

  2. avatar Chris says:

    Hi Dave,

    Yes, Bali and Lombok were/are affected by volcanic ash. See tweet above.

  3. avatar Angelo says:

    Hi there,
    I hear that Garuda Indonesia will go ahead with there purchase of 30 new planes. I fly Garuda a lot. I’m worried that now they have committed to the new purchase they will “skimp” on service & maintaince with the planes in use right now.

    What are your thoughts? Thanks.
    P.s I enjoy reading your informative answers to all questions.
    Thanks again.
    Kind Regards. Angelo.

  4. avatar Chris says:

    Hi Angelo,

    Currently, Garuda is making a profit on domestic services, but not on international services or its regional subsidiary Garuda Explore.

    One area that Garuda seeks to be different from some of its competitors is to have newer planes. Their fleet is one of the youngest with an average age of 5 years.

    Newer planes are also cheaper/easier to service, so the initial cost of purchasing planes can be offset by reduced running costs in the future.

    I will happily continue to fly Garuda Indonesia.

  5. avatar Antonio says:


    I want to fly from Subrabaya to Pangkalan Bun in the following days (7. or 8.12.2015) and back. Do any reliable airlines cover this route? Thank you very much in advance!

  6. avatar Chris says:

    Both Trigana Air and Kal-Star sometimes cancel flights on this route, especially Trigana Air. More

  7. avatar jack stocker says:

    Hi Chris , i have never travelled on my own before and i wish to make a journey to bandar lampang ,to stay at a surf camp ,is there any help available at the airport in Jakarta with flight connections ,many thanks jack

  8. avatar Chris says:

    Hi Jack,

    What help do you mean?

    It’s not difficult to change terminals at Jakarta Airport, if you know what you’re doing. There is a free inter-terminal bus.

    Unfortunately, you can’t buy flight tickets at Jakarta Airport any more, so you will need to arrange that another way.

  9. avatar ray says:

    Hey.Great website thank you.Just arrived, first time in Ubud. May go on to Flores.What about Wings Air.Ok?

  10. avatar Chris says:

    Hi Ray,

    Yes, Wings Air is ok. More about Wings Air

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