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Sriwijaya or Express airline to Sorong?

Maryland
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Sriwijaya or Express airline to Sorong?

Hi--we are finalizing our plans to Raja Ampat at the end of this year, and have been provided a choice between Sriwijaya and Express airlines by the travel agent. Raja4divers where we are staying says that they will only hold the boat for the Express airlines direct flight from Jakarta, or the Sriwijaya Air flight from Ujung Pandang, or Lion Air from Manado. Our dive travel agent's experience is that Sriwijaya has fewer schedule changes/cancelled flights, their flights are open for ticketing several months prior to travel, they have promotional fares which are often lower. Express does operate the only nonstop flight between Jakarta and Sorong, but, don't open flights for booking until 30 days prior to travel. Have you had experience with these airlines? What are your recommendations for safety etc.?

Jakarta, Indonesia
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1. Re: Sriwijaya or Express airline to Sorong?

I am not fancy flying with Lion Air. It's just like Southwest - only worst. Never fly with Lion with empty stomach. They don't provide hot meals, only selection of crackers, buns, and non-alcoholic bevrages (for purchase). They use the newer B737-900ER which in packed mode can take nearly 200 passengers (thus space - seat pitch is very tight).

Sriwijaya on the other hand is more civilized. They provide complimentary catering for longer journey such as from Jakarta to Ujung Pandang and then onto Sorong. It's nothing fancy, but a standard conventional airline meal like the one they served in US in the 80s. Regarding fleet, they are using mixed B737-800 with few B737-400s. Not new, some are secondhand, but still reliable.

Express Air is specializing in connection between Jakarta and destinations in eastern Indonesia. Can't comment on the service as never used one, but the fleet is a mixed of older 737s (737-200, 737-300, and 737-500) They're well maintained (has stayed with the airline for couple years already) and could be your choice if you're a fan of 737 jurassic.

verdict: if I had to choose, I would choose Sriwijaya. You will be traveling over Christmas which is a peak travel period and thus it's best to book everything in advance. You can wait until the fare of express opens, but once you can't get the best deal, you have no alternative as I believe those at Sriwijaya will be snatched very fast. Lion Air also release their promo fare around 30 days prior, but it's also selling fast especially during peak travel period.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Sriwijaya or Express airline to Sorong?

Thank you for your information, Cirque. I was about to ask about Sriwijaya Air too and the information is informative enough.

On the notes for lacontessa1; I read some news few months ago about Lion Air has been crashed and/or landed on the wrong side of the beach. Looks like Lion Air has employed not good pilots, though their aircraft is the new one. Most airline crashed was caused by the pilot who didn't get proper training, I believe all aircraft is good & safe.

Jakarta, Indonesia
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3. Re: Sriwijaya or Express airline to Sorong?

<< I read some news few months ago about Lion Air has been crashed and/or landed on the wrong side of the beach.>>

You are correct. It was recently and involved a new aircraft. Lion Air is ambitious enough to order lots of Boeing's new B737-900ER to their fleet. However, they cannot order the pilots to supply the new aircrafts... Rest assured though, each incident is monitored closely by Indonesian Air Transportation Safety Bureau.

Jakarta
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for Jakarta, Bandung, Singapore, Java
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4. Re: Sriwijaya or Express airline to Sorong?

Sorong Airport is served by;

Express Air ##Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Jayapura, Makassar, Manado

Garuda Indonesia ##Jayapura, Makassar, Manokwari

Merpati Nusantara Airlines ##Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Jayapura, Kaimana, Makassar, Manokwari, Surabaya, Timika, Teminabuan, Nabire, Biak

Pelita Air Service ## Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Makassar

Sky Aviation ## Jayapura, Makassar[1]

Sriwijaya Air ##Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Makassar, Manokwari

Susi Air ##Babo, Bintuni, Fakfak, Kambuaya

Wings Abadi Air ##Ambon, Babo, Fakfak, Manado

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Out of these option, i would recommend to pick either Sriwijaya or Merpati.....pity that GA does not serve the route.

Singapore
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5. Re: Sriwijaya or Express airline to Sorong?

My two cents as a SE Asia resident - all three airlines not have have a very good safety record. In addition, their schedules can change at the last minute. Remember, each connecting is fraught with potential lost bags and schedule changes. Direct flight are usually best. Baggage, I have had good luck packing carry-on bags that are discrete and have not been charges for overweight charges.

6. Re: Sriwijaya or Express airline to Sorong?

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Jakarta
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for Jakarta, Bandung, Singapore, Java
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7. Re: Sriwijaya or Express airline to Sorong?

post # 6 - duplicate posting

Jakarta, Indonesia
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for Malang, Yogyakarta
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8. Re: Sriwijaya or Express airline to Sorong?

I agree with Cirque, I think Sriwijaya is the best option. They are more reliable than Lion or Express Air. Forget about Merpati, they are in financial trouble and many flights are cancelled because they cannot pay for the fuel.

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9. Re: Sriwijaya or Express airline to Sorong?

Outside from the options i would recommend garuda indonesia, the route from Jakarta-Makassar-Sorong, you will arrive sorong in the morning around 6AM so you have some time to explore Sorong before ferry 1400local time.

A little bit expensive but it is worthed for long flight you will experience indonesian hospitality in full service (hot meals, snacks, drinks, more Kg baggage). The most important for long flight with connection is the delay and cancellation.

Jakarta
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for Jakarta, Bandung, Singapore, Java
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10. Re: Sriwijaya or Express airline to Sorong?

guys, the OP had asked his question in October LAST year................

Edited: 6:29 am, January 30, 2014