Confusion!

Last updated: September 23, 2011
confusion

A guide through the maze of bemusing and ever-changing world of Indonesian city, airline and airport names.

Travelling around Indonesia can be a little confusing if you aren’t aware of the plethora of Indonesian cities’ alternate names, spellings and airport names. Some have changed names, others have changed spelling and some have changed multiple times.

This is one of the reasons why the Mau Ke Mana Flight Booking Service doesn’t just have an automated system of spitting back a list of flights and fares.

Wikipedia has a useful reference list of city and airport names/codes, but even it doesn’t cover all bases.

Here is an attempt at an all-inclusive list of all these issues, in alphabetical order:

Ambon | Bali / Denpasar | Lion Air and Wings Air | Lombok / Mataram / Ampenan Makassar / Ujung Pandang

Here are some alternate spellings, the current/official “Indonesian” one on the right:

Yogyakarta & Jogjakarta | Manado & Menado | Sumatra & Sumatera

Confusing directions

Ambon (Airport Code: AMQ) (a.k.a. Pattimura Airport, Laha Airport, Ambon City, Kota Ambon, Ambon Island, Pulau Ambon)

Map of Ambon

Ambon City/Bay/Island/Airport

The city of Ambon is located on the island of Ambon, while Ambon Airport is located in Laha, 36km from Ambon City on the other side of the horseshoe-shaped Ambon Bay. Apparently no other names were available at the time…

Confusing directions

Bali (Airport Code: DPS) (a.k.a. Denpasar, Ngurah Rai Airport)

Bali Airport MapBali is not a separate country from Indonesia, but it is an island and province with its own unique culture. Some airlines, e.g. Air Asia, also use “Bali” as the name of the airport because Bali is much more well-known than “Denpasar”.

Officially, the name of the airport is Ngurah Rai Airport or Denpasar Airport, and is located about 10km south of Denpasar, the capital city of Bali.

Confusing directions

Lion Air v Wings Air
Both airlines are part of the group/corporation and work together, like American Airlines and American Eagle in the United States, or Singapore Airlines and Silk Air in Singapore.

However, unlike Singapore Airlines/Silk Air or Garuda Indonesia and their budget wing Citilink, Lion Air and Wings Air continue to use the same website, airline code and booking system.

Their levels of service are mostly the same; the small differences are:

Wings Air plane Lion Air B737-900ER
Wings Air ATR72-500 Lion Air Boeing 737-900ER

– Wings Air operates smaller ATR72-500 planes (see above left) on shorter/less popular routes. Lion Air uses mostly Boeing 737-900ER planes (see above right) and operates on the longer/more popular routes.

– Lion Air’s baggage allowance in economy class is 25kg for domestic flights, 20kg for international flights. Wings Air has a smaller – but not strictly enforced – baggage allowance: 15kg.

– Lion Air offers business/executive class on some routes.

You can tell which flight is operated by which airline in two ways:

Lion & Wings Air 2 Lion & Wings Air
  1. The logo next to the flight number.
  2. Usually a four-digit flight number also indicates a Wings Air flight.

Confusing directions

Makassar (Airport Code: UPG) (a.k.a. Ujung Pandang, Hasanuddin Airport)

Visit Makassar

Makassar was renamed Ujung Pandang in 1971 by an Indonesian government that wanted to give the city a more Indonesian or less Dutch name (around the same time that Djakarta became Jakarta). However, it was changed back to Makassar in 1999 by then President Habibie. These days, some airlines use Makassar, others Ujung Pandang.

Confusing directions

Mataram (Airport Code: AMI) (a.k.a. Ampenan, Lombok, Selaparang, Selaparang Airport)

The capital city of West Nusa Tenggara province, Mataram is actually one part of a conurbation of a few smaller cities. The airport is actually located in the city of Ampenan (what Garuda Indonesia’s website currently calls it). It is also the only airport on the island of Lombok, so Selaparang Airport also has the working name of “Lombok Airport”. Some smaller airlines flying from Denpasar/Bali also use Selaparang as the destination city name.

New Lombok Airport
The new Lombok International Airport, still under construction

A new airport in Central Lombok, tentatively named Lombok International Airport, is also under construction. It was due to open in 2010, but still has no scheduled opening date. It is not yet determined whether the existing airport in Mataram (West Lombok) will reduce or cease operations when this new airport opens.

Map of Old and New Lombok Airports
Old and New Lombok International Airports,
located in Mataram/Ampenan and Praya respectively

The new airport is located in Praya, Central Lombok; it is closer to (the other) Kuta, but quite far from Mataram and the tourist beaches of Sengigi and Gili Islands, so a complete closure seems unlikely. Any affected passengers will be informed if when the airport is about to commence operations.

UPDATE: September 2011

It is now confirmed that the new Lombok International Airport will open and commence commercial flight operations on 1 October 2011, and the old Selaparang Airport in Mataram/Ampenan will cease operations at 8pm on 30 September 2011. All affected passengers are being informed.

Please note: all Lion Air, Garuda Indonesia and Batavia Air flights to/from Lombok on 1 OCTOBER 2011 have been cancelled. However, Merpati Airlines flights (to Denpasar) and Wings Air flights (to Denpasar and Surabaya) are operating as normal.


If you have any other questions or areas of concern, please write a comment below, and we’ll answer it.



11 Comments on “Confusion!”

  1. avatar Chris says:

    Update on the new Lombok International Airport from The Jakarta Post website:

    Lombok Intl Airport to open in July

    The Lombok International Airport (BIL) in West Nusa Tenggara is set to start operating in July this year, an official says.

    “BIL is almost ready, it will begin operating in July at the latest,” Tommy Soetomo, director of state-owned airport management company PT Angkasa Pura I, said on Wednesday as quoted by tribunnews.com.

    He also said all commercial flight activities would be moved to the new airport from the old Selaparang International Aiport in Mataram.

    The construction of the new international airport has now entered the final phase, he added.

  2. avatar Chris says:

    Maybe not July after all:

    Lombok International Airport to open soon

    MATARAM: The Lombok International Airport (BIL) in Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), should begin operating by October this year…

    “The construction of BIL will be complete and it will start operating in October his year. It will be inaugurated by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,” NTB provincial spokesman Lalu M. Faozal told the Post on Thursday.

    The full text is here.

  3. avatar Kelli says:

    Will the new airport stay under the same code as AMI?
    I have purchased airline tickets for Jan 2012 departing Mataram to Denpasar and was wondering as the airport in Mataram is now closed will the new airport accept my plane tickets which show a different departure location. I have tried contacting the airline, however I do not get any response from them.

  4. avatar Chris says:

    Hi Keli,

    According to the new airport’s Wikipedia page, the new Lombok International Airport will have a different IATA code of LOP.

    All future enquiries and bookings will be for this airport, not the previous Mataram / Ampenan / Selaparang Airport. I am sure that all airlines (including Lion Air) will honour existing bookings for the old airport, even though it may take them a little while to update their booking engines, etc.

    If it’s a concern for you, you could try reprinting your tickets a few days before you fly (by which time I’m sure the details would have been updated). Our guide for how to reprint your tickets is here.

    By the way, LIA commenced operations today, and will be officially opened by the President on 15 October. Please see this news article for more details:
    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/its-for-real-lombok-finally-has-its-international-airport/468878

  5. avatar Kelli says:

    Hi Chris,
    thanks for the information..

  6. avatar Dillier Madeleine says:

    Where can i find a new timetable for flights from Bali to Lombok New Airport? I would like to book the flights via internet.
    Thank you

  7. avatar Chris says:

    Hi Dillier Madeleine,

    Where can i find a new timetable for flights from Bali to Lombok New Airport?

    The two airlines that most people use for are:

    1) Wings Air (partner of Lion Air)
    2) Merpati

    For your convenience, here are their respective timetables:

    1. Wings Air

    Departs DPS: 09:50, 11:40, 16:50
    Arrives LOP: 10:20, 12:10, 17:20

    Departs LOP: 10:45, 12:35, 17:40
    Arrives DPS: 11:15, 13:05, 18:10

    2. Merpati Airlines

    Departs DPS: 08:00, 13:10, 15:00, 17:35
    Arrives LOP: 08:45, 13:55, 15:45, 18:20

    Departs LOP: 07:45, 12:15, 14:30, 16:20
    Arrives DPS: 08:30, 13:00, 15:15, 17:05

    You can compare them in more detail here:
    http://flights.indonesiamatters.com/which-airline/

    I would like to book the flights via internet.

    That could be difficult. As explained here:
    http://www.indonesiamatters.com/4938/booking-indonesian-flights-online/
    almost all Indonesian airlines only accept Indonesian credit cards. If you want to book with a non-Indonesian credit card, I suggest you try our affiliated flight booking service, Mau Ke Mana. They can accept all credit cards because they use Paypal.

  8. avatar Mike says:

    Is it correct that google maps still incorrectly refers to the old Mataram airport, and not to the new LOP airport?

  9. avatar Chris says:

    Yes, Google Maps is way off on that one. However, the marker is not even where the old airport was.

    A friend used the coordinates on Wikipedia page of the new Lombok International Airport to place it correctly. See the result at: http://g.co/maps/5jz4q

  10. avatar Ronnie says:

    We want to fly from Denpasar and spend a few days in Senggigi, what is the best aiport to land at and which airline provides this service ?

  11. avatar Chris says:

    Hi Ronnie,

    There is only one airport in Lombok, in Praya. Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air/Wings Air fly between Denpasar and Lombok.

    More information:
    New Lombok Airport

    Silly Gili: Transport Options Between Bali and the Gili Islands

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