Fly Express to Raja Ampat

Last updated: March 12, 2013
Express Air Stewardesses

Express Air offers the most convenient flights to Sorong, the gateway to the Raja Ampat Islands.


Why Raja Ampat? | Getting There | Practicalities, Hints & Tips | Let’s Go!

Why Raja Ampat?
The Raja Ampat Islands (in West Papua province) are now considered one of the highlights of Indonesia and the next big thing in Indonesian marine tourism circles. Part of the “coral triangle”, they offer amazing diving and snorkelling, as well as secluded beaches and the island’s unique rock formations.

Diving Raja Ampat Raja Ampat Islands
Click for full-size

The latest Lonely Planet guide to Indonesia describes Raja Ampat as having:

some of the best – if not the best – diving in Indonesia

It’s like diving in a tropical aquarium!

Getting There

Raja Ampat Region Map Raja Ampat Map
Click for full size

Its relatively distant and isolated location – see the maps above – is a double-edged sword. The spectacular natural beauty is protected from overexploitation and the crowds of more well-known destinations e.g. Pulau Bunaken (near Manado), but it also means relatively few people are able to enjoy it.

red-eye-hungoverCurrently, many flights to the nearest airport – Jefman Airport in Sorong – are overnight. This can potentially leave passengers feeling exhausted and sick; not the best thing before a boat ride.

But now there is an exception:

Express Air logo

Unlike their competitors, Express Air flies daily to Sorong (not nightly, not 3 or 4 days/week) from Jakarta, Makassar, Manado, Ambon and Jayapura.

Express Air Flights To Sorong

For your convenience, here is the latest schedule (not available on the Express Air website, which was last updated in 2008):

TO SORONG Express Air Logo blue background FROM SORONG

From Departs At Arrives At*
Jakarta 05:00 11:40
Makassar 08:40 11:40
Manado 07:00 09:40
To Departs At* Arrives At
Jakarta 12:00 15:10
Makassar 12:00 13:10
Manado 12:00 12:45

*Local time in Sorong is two hours ahead of Jakarta, one hour ahead of Makassar and Manado.

UPDATE 2013: The Express Air schedule for flights between Jakarta/Makassar and Sorong has changed. You can get the latest schedule for these routes here.

Practicalities, Hints and Tips
1. Flying From Overseas

AirAsia logo Garuda Indonesia Logo
Now flying to Makassar
Silk Air logo
Now flying to Manado

Obviously, Jakarta receives the most international flights, but there are other choices. Makassar (a.k.a Ujung Pandang) receives daily Air Asia flights from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and the new Garuda flight from Singapore. International visitors can also fly from Singapore direct 4 days/week to Manado on Silk Air. Silk Air is Singapore Airlines’ regional/partner airline, so (like all Silk Air flights) also offers a Singapore Airlines codeshare and earns KrisFlyer points.

2. Accommodation
Hotel Sedona, ManadoWhichever airport you choose, it will be necessary to stopover one night. Here are links to hotels at/near the airport in each city: Jakarta, Makassar, Manado.

3. Baggage Allowances
Express Air planeExpress Air flights from/to Jakarta and Makassar use Boeing 737 aircraft (right), and have a 20kg baggage allowance. However, flights to/from Manado use smaller Dornier 328 planes, and have a 10kg baggage allowance. If you are bringing your own diving gear, it would be better to fly from Jakarta or Makassar.

4. Travel Permit (Surat Jalan)
Officially, all foreign visitors to non-metropolitan areas in West Papua province need to obtain a travel permit (in Indonesian, “surat jalan”) when they arrive from the local police station. In Sorong, the nearest one is called Polresta Sorong and is 1km west of the airport. You need to bring:

  • - Photocopies of the passport photo/information page and the page with your current Indonesian visa
  • - Two passport photos
  • - Your passport

There is no fee. After you get the travel permit – usually about one hour later – get some photocopies of it made, enough to give one copy to each place/hotel you will visit.

Let’s Go!
Would you like to visit Raja Ampat? If you’re interested, please fill in an enquiry form.

Or if you have a question, please ask below.



8 Comments on Fly Express to Raja Ampat

  1. avatar Panicha Says:
    March 7th, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Hi,

    If my baggage over 20 kg. How much for charge per kilogram?

    Best regards,
    Panicha.

  2. avatar Chris Says:
    March 8th, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Hi Panicha,

    Excess baggage fees vary by airline. Also, some airlines have different charges for sports equipment (including dive gear) compared to other baggage.

    If you do need to pay, it is usually around $US2 per kg, payable in Rupiah cash when you check in.

    Having said that, baggage allowances are loosely enforced in Indonesia.

  3. avatar Panicha Says:
    March 11th, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I have already booked Express Air from Jakarta to Sorong. I would like to know that how many kg can i load my lugguage. However, i am a diver who has a Padi diving license, do i have extra weight? By the way, if my luggage is over weight limit, how much do i have to pay/ kg?

  4. avatar Chris Says:
    March 12th, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Hi Panicha,

    Express Air flights between Jakarta and Sorong have a 20kg baggage allowance.

    Sorry, I do not know what the excess baggage fee is for Express Air. I suggest you ask the agent who booked your ticket. Like I said before, it is usually around $US2 per kg, payable in Rupiah cash when you check in.

  5. avatar Eric Says:
    April 11th, 2013 at 4:31 am

    Flight times from Sorong – Manado have changed and can be searched on: https://booking.xpressair.co.id/
    They now depart SOQ 9:40 and arrive MDC 10:20
    MDC depart 10:40 arrive SOQ 13:20

  6. avatar Chris Says:
    April 11th, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Yes, Eric is correct.

    Please note also that Express Air’s flight now only operates two days/week: Tuesday, Saturday.

    This compares with 3 days/week (Mon, Wed, Fri) on Wings Air and Merpati (Mon, Thurs, Sat).

  7. avatar Lili Says:
    June 14th, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Hi Chris,

    Much appreciated if you can advise the Express Air flight schedule for Makassar – Sorong.

    From the website the following are listed

    Keberangkatan – Makassar – SorongTanggal Hari Berangkat Tiba Promo Normal Flexi
    14/11/2013 Kam 10:10 13:20 Penuh 900.000 1.430.000
    15/11/2013 Jum 10:10 13:20 Penuh 900.000 1.430.000
    16/11/2013 Sab 10:10 13:20 Penuh 900.000 1.430.000
    17/11/2013 Min 10:10 13:20 Penuh 900.000 1.430.000
    18/11/2013 Sen 10:10 13:20 Penuh 900.000 1.430.000

    Kembali – Sorong – MakassarTanggal Hari Berangkat Tiba Promo Normal Flexi
    22/11/2013 Jum 10:10 11:20 Penuh 900.000 1.430.000
    23/11/2013 Sab 10:10 11:20 Penuh 900.000 1.430.000
    24/11/2013 Min 10:10 11:20 Penuh 900.000 1.430.000
    25/11/2013 Sen 10:10 11:20 Penuh 900.000 1.430.000
    26/11/2013 Sel 10:10 11:20 Penuh 900.000 1.430.000

    The return (Sorong – Makassar) timing of 10:10 doesn’t seem logical…

    I have tried calling the listed contact number on their site to inquire but it is actually Garuda’s and not Express Air. Is Express Air even reliable or should i just stick with Sriwijaya ?

    Thanks in advance !!

    cheers, Lili

  8. avatar Chris Says:
    June 14th, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Dear Lili,

    Thank you for your comment.

    As explained above, the schedule on this post is now out of date:

    UPDATE 2013: The Express Air schedule for flights between Jakarta/Makassar and Sorong has changed. You can get the latest schedule for these routes here.

    If you consider also our explanation of the timezone situation, also above:

    *Local time in Sorong is two hours ahead of Jakarta, one hour ahead of Makassar and Manado.

    the flight schedule is quite sensible; the flight duration in both directions is two hours.

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