Take to the Sky

Last updated: July 6, 2011
Sky Aviation Indonesia

A new airline called Sky Aviation (motto “Welcome to our Sky”) recently commenced flights to several cities in Sumatra (including the Riau Islands and Bangka Belitung), Java and Bali.

It seems Sky Aviation has a small budget for marketing; the author has only seen one advertisement in a small regional newspaper (below), so probably few people have heard of them.

Sky Aviation advertisement
A rare advertisement for Sky Aviation

On a lighter note, it doesn’t help that some Wikipedia airport pages have links for Sky Aviation pointing to a similarly-named airline in Sierra Leone, a small West African country.

This is a pity because Sky Aviation have some very useful flights to/from remote areas. Sky’s other flights reduce travel times for people who need to get around in a hurry, and increase comfort for people who do not wish to e.g. bump along in a bus on poor quality roads.


Where | When | How


WHERE

Sky Aviation has hub airports in Surabaya (East Java), Palembang (South Sumatra) and Batam (Riau Islands, near Sumatra and next to Singapore).

Sky Aviation Route Map

Some of these cities are quite small, with few or no other commercial flights. Therefore, each destination city’s province is included in brackets.

HUB AIRPORT DESTINATIONS
Surabaya (East Java) Bandarlampung (Lampung), Bandung (West Java), Banyuwangi (East Java), Denpasar (Bali), Solo (Central Java)
Batam
(Riau Islands)
Dabo Singkep (Riau Islands), Dumai (North Sumatra), Matak/Natuna Islands (Riau Islands), Pangkal Pinang (Bangka Belitung), Rengat (Riau), Tanjung Pinang/Bintan (Riau Islands)
Palembang (South Sumatra) Bandarlampung (Lampung), Bengkulu (Bengkulu), Jambi (Jambi), Kerinci (Jambi), Lebuk Langgur (South Sumatra), Pangkal Pinang (Bangka Belitung), Pekanbaru (Riau), Tanjung Pandan (Bangka Belitung)

But rather than just give a list of cities, here are some reasons why to visit some of these destinations:

Ijen PlateauBanyuwangi (from Denpasar or Surabaya)
Nearest airport to the spectacular views and not-so-spectacular smell of Ijen Plateau, a moonscape-like volcano with an aqua-coloured lake and a sulphur vent. It is a regular stop on the Jakarta to Bali tourist trail, and many like to make the 90 minute hike up the mountain in time for sunrise.

Mount KerinciKerinci (from Palembang or Jambi)
One for the serious trekkers, Indonesia’s Mt Kerinci (3800m) is Indonesia’s tallest active volcano. If you want to save your energy for the trail and not use it up on many hours of slow and crowded buses, this is an option worth considering.

Panjang BeachBengkulu (from Palembang)
Indonesia’s remote Sumatran capital is hoping to foster an increase in tourism with improved accommodation facilities at the nearby Panjang Beach. You can read an interesting review here.


WHEN

Sky Aviation’s flight schedule in Java can be viewed on the full-size version of the advertisement above.

Sky Aviation Schedule
Sky Aviation’s flight schedule in Pangkal Pinang

For other destinations, you can view Sky Aviation’s online flight schedule here. It is in English and Indonesian; curiously, it only lists departure times, not arrival times.


HOW

Sky Aviation currently uses mostly Fokker 50 aircraft, but have also recently ordered 12 Sukhoi Superjets.

Their free checked baggage allowance is 15 kg. They offer e-ticketing but not online booking. One way fares from e.g. Surabaya to Banyuwangi start at $US40.


If you would like to book a flight on Sky Aviation, please fill in a enquiry form here.



14 Comments on Take to the Sky

  1. avatar David Says:
    July 6th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Well they do sound useful don’t they, I do plan to try out that Surabaya to Banyuwangi flight at some point, plus from their website

    “Welcome to Our Sky” is a trademark of SKY Aviation

    Can’t work out why nobody ever trademarked that brilliant slogan before…

    Not a bad site though and the Travel Destinations section is a good idea, um, although I just checked and the text for the two articles is just ripped from Wikipedia or elsewhere.

  2. avatar timdog Says:
    July 6th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Yeah, that Banyuwangi link-up is an interesting one.
    I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more opening up of smaller routes to outlying East Java towns. There are quite a few airports out there. Jember has a usable airport, and, I imagine, a viable population for a direct link at very least to Surabaya.
    And then, of course, there’s Madura. Sumenep has an airport…

  3. avatar Oigal Says:
    July 6th, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    This is great Chris, just saved me a lot of butt wear I think. Spend a lot of time bouncing along miserable roads and any way to avoid it sounds good to me. Cursorily, people often say “aren’t you worried about the safety record of those smaller airlines” the easy answer is “As opposed to the road trip and ferries you mean”?

  4. avatar Chris Says:
    July 7th, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your comments. To continue the conversation:

    Timdog,
    A couple of years ago, there was a flight between Surabaya and Jember on I think Tri MG Intra Asia Airlines. I don’t know if it’s still going. I suggest you check the Juanda Airport real-time flight info page sporadically to get the latest information.

    However, I also remember hearing once that taking the train is faster when the train journey is less than 4½ hours – because of the extra time:
    - travelling from the centre of town to the (usually out of town) airport in the city of origin.
    - checking in, boarding, etc before the flight.
    - disembarking, collecting bags, etc after the flight.
    - travelling from the airport to the centre of town in the destination city.

    Surabaya to Jember is about four hours; Surabaya to Banyuwangi is about six. Of course, that assumes you live near the train station Surabaya Gubeng…

    Oigal,
    Yes, I don’t hear anyone advocating stopping driving or banning cars, buses or trucks for safety reasons. The latest estimate on the annual Indonesian road toll is 60 000.

    Similarly, more people have died in ferry accidents than air accidents in recent years, but no one in our outside Indonesia seems to care so much about them – not sure why. For more information about this, read “The Biggest Disasters You’ve (N)ever Seen and specifically the section “Not The Adam Air and Garuda Crashes”.

  5. avatar Oigal Says:
    July 7th, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Ok…Slightly off topic but seeing how Chris mentioned trains..

    I have heard but never tried there are some really great train trips to be had in Indonesia. Now, at the risk of abuse, my excitement at riding third class has long since passed so any first class, sleeper type holidays to be recommended..

    Still on trains, in my travels I have often come across literally miles upon miles of old, disused narrow gauge rail line (Near Surabaya for instance) used by the Dutch (I assume) for the tobacco industry. These tracks wind in and out of the countryside and through tiny villages, I have often thought what a great tourist attraction that could be, resurrect some of the old open carriages and schedule meandering trips for tourists not much more than walking pace, open carriage allowing plenty of room for interaction with the locals and the environment. I reckon it would be a monty to make a swag of cash

  6. avatar Chris Says:
    July 7th, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Oigal,

    There is a tourist train on Sundays from Padangpanjang (between Padang and Bukittinggi) to Sawahlunto in West Sumatra. It’s called the Museum Train, and travels alongside Lake Singkarak. It goes for 3 hours each-way and costs Rp60 000 one way.

    Other than that, I’m not aware of any scheduled tourist trains, although I personally think the KA Ciliwung in Jakarta is like a tourist train.

    There is still a track from Jember to Situbondo via Bondowoso, which might be suitable for a tourist train.

    Tourist train (“Kereta Wisata”) for Pt. KAI means a luxury train/carriage for hire.

  7. avatar timdog Says:
    July 7th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Chris, I hear what you’re saying. I always wondered why anyone would take one of the Surabaya-Malang flights on those grounds. What they really need is a high-speed Surabaya-Malang train link, similar to the Bogor-Jakarta comuter train. That would be great.

    Jember, though, is probably just over the threshold of being worthwhile. The airport is south of town, on the way down towards the rather nice Watu Ulo Beach…

    Oigal, If you take the main southern road through Madura, all the way to Sumenep, between the clumps of grass, and beneath the roadside warungs, you’ll spot the warped lines of a narrow-gauge railway line. Go all the way to Kalianget and you’ll even find a rusting steam engine…

    I’ve always thought it a shame that Indonesia doesn’t have any sleeper trains. It has plenty of night trains, so why not?
    I absolutely love sleepers, even rough ones. In India “sleeper” is the lowest reserved class – three-tiered open compartments. In winter when there’s no need for air-con their great. You get the top bunk and you’ve got a certain amount of privacy, and you can take a 24-hour trip for about what you’d pay for a coffee and a sandwhich at London Paddington.
    Next step up they have 3-tier AC, which is the same layout, but infinitely flasher and cleaner, with crisp sheets and AC. The ranks go onwars and upwards, but I’ve not taken them.

    In China they also have great trains – what they call “hard sleeper” is the same sort of layout as an Indian sleeper, but pristine; every carriage has an autocratic little lady who keeps things in control; free boiling water at the carriage ends; clean sheets. I once took one of them from Guangzhou to Xian (24 hours), then two days later took a 36-hour one from Xian to Urumqi, followed immediately by a 24-hour one from Urumqi to Kashgar.
    I guess that makes me kind of mental, but kicking back, sleeping, reading lots and lots and lots, and watching an entire continent unfolding outside the windows, from rice fields to cold desert… well, it’s better than the bus anyway…

    The London-Penzance sleeper will always be my all-time favourite though…

  8. avatar Oigal Says:
    July 7th, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Ya bit of train freak myself, in the yesteryear bummed my way around oz..train hopping mostly the grain trains in WA, SA, NSW. Funny that was time when supposedly no jobs around but alwAys but always found work, but only long enough to allow the wanderlust to set in. Of course, these days clean sheets and delivered coffee is mandatory.

    As for the narrow gauge, thanks for the trip. I still reckon open carriage, walking pace what a great tourist experience..be money for jam.

  9. avatar Oigal Says:
    July 14th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Hey, Can anyone tell me if there is really a regulation on how much alcohol you can take on a plane as baggage, or is that just yet another scam.

  10. avatar Oigal Says:
    July 14th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Oops domestic obviously

  11. avatar Arif Ismail Says:
    August 29th, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Where i can take ticket by online?

  12. avatar Ican Says:
    September 17th, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Hello Chris, Thanks for adding Sky Aviation in your site. And thanks to you, because you put up the information about the wrong link in Wiki to Siera so we can fix the links on wiki.

    We will improve the site, and by the way, we update the site with travel information in Bengkulu and Jambi as well, and also this comes up because your brief info as well.

    in short, thanks Chris.

  13. avatar Mike Says:
    October 17th, 2011 at 10:35 am

    How do I get a hold of the main office for SKY Aviation? All of their email links all getting bounced back?

  14. avatar Chris Says:
    October 17th, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Sorry, can’t help with an email address. The only one I see on their website is: sales@sky-aviation.co.id

    The last time I was at the airport, the Sky Aviation window was closed. However, that might just be because they didn’t have a flight operating at that time of day.

    Have you tried calling them?

    Sales & Customer Service +62 21 8087 874

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