Most Reliable Airlines 2012

Last updated: January 7, 2013

Which Indonesian airlines can you depend on?

Online travel agent Mau Ke Mana logs every time its clients’ flights are delayed, retimed/rescheduled or cancelled here. It is designed to help its clients make an informed choice in this area.

In the table below, Indonesian domestic airlines are ranked for reliability, the best/most reliable first:

Rank Airline Delayed,
Cancelled On-time
Trophy1. 0% 0% 84%
2. 2% 0% 85%
3. 0% 0% N/A
4. 4% 0% 75%
5. 12% 0% 79%
6. Citilink logo 13% 0% N/A
7. 6% 8% 71%
8. 7% 5% 66%

The following airlines were unranked due to the small number of flights by Mau Ke Mana clients: ExpressAir, Kal-Star, Susi Air, TransNusa, Trigana Air.

A full archive of which airline cancelled which flight is here.

Why do some airlines have better/worse reliability?
Airlines with younger planes generally do better. For example, Wings Air has a fleet of new ATR72-500 aircraft, while Garuda Indonesia’s planes have an average age of 6 years.

Some airlines cancel flights for business reasons (e.g. a small number of passengers on a flight), not only due to plane problems. For example, if Merpati Airlines has two flights per day on a route and one has few passengers, Merpati might cancel this flight and put them on the other flight.

Many airports in larger Indonesian cities are operating above their intended capacity, most notably Jakarta. Smaller or regional airlines that fly to more remote airports don’t have this problem.

How can I choose a suitable airline/departure time? How can I avoid a problem?
It is best to fly a little earlier than necessary. If there are multiple flights, choose the flight before the one you would normally take. This ensure that if there is a delay or any other problem, it’s not a big deal.

If you are transiting and changing between domestic/international flights in Jakarta, we have a guide with recommended minimum transit (layover) times here. A no-risk alternative in this situation is to fly to Jakarta 1 day earlier, stay in a nearby hotel then have a relaxing 24 hours before the long international flight.

What if my flight is delayed/retimed/rescheduled or cancelled?
Mau Ke Mana always asks its clients to provide an emergency telephone number, so that they can be contacted quickly if necessary. Unfortunately, only about 10% of clients actually do this. Indonesian airlines‘ staff do not always speak good English and almost never call international phone numbers. To avoid a problem, please provide emergency contact details.

Failing that, you can reconfirm your flight details for some airlines; the instructions are here.

Finally, know your rights. Since 1 January 2012, if your flight is delayed more than 4 hours 30 minutes, rerouted or cancelled less than 7 days in advance, the airline must provide its passengers with financial compensation, including a double refund for last-minute cancellations.

Thus far, only Batavia Air has cancelled a client’s flight less than 7 days in advance; BA also did not pay the double refund. You can read about the experience here.

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