How an airport at a poor country looks like? Take a look at my flight report from Dili (Timor Leste) to Denpasar (Bali, Indonesia). Welcome come to my first report on Nam Air, an Indonesian carrier which is a feeder of its parent company Sriwijaya Air (Wikipedia).
I had a trip to Timor Leste in June in my journey around South East Asia. Timor Leste is the youngest nation in the region and for long, I had plan to visit this country. This flight report is about my return flight with Nam Air. The other flight was with Sriwijaya Air, which is parent company of Nam Air. Actually you can book flights from these 2 carriers on the same website. That was why I had chance to experience both of them in my journey.
I went to Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport in the morning to catch the noon flight. It was rainy a bit. The airport is simple, very simple and looks old. It was not a surprise as Timor Leste is a poor country. Not many flights coming to this only airport of the country. Domestic and international passengers get into the departure hall by 2 different gates but same area inside. The check-in counters are more than simple and look very old, even the departure hall inside. It was very small. Next to the check-in counters are the immigration counters. You don't have to walk long.
However, when I went to the immigration counter, the staff told me to by the airport tax first as it wasn't included in the ticket. I had to turn to the tax counter, still in the same small area and I didn't have to walk far. Just few steps. Seriously, everything is in one small place.
The airport tax is 10$
After clearing the immigration and security, I proceed to departure lounge which was bigger than the check-in area. There was only one boring duty free shop which was full of alcohol and perfumes. There was no souvenir. Not a key chain or flag or postcard. I didn't mind. I sat down and played game in my iPad while waiting for Nam Air plane from Denpasar. Outside, a lot of local people were standing by the fence outside to look at the airport taxiing on the tarmac.
A small airplane from Australia
Local people were looking at the planes
My ride came a little bit late. I was worried that I would miss my connecting flight from Denpasar to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). But it was fine. It wasn't too late. The passengers boarded the plane through a small lane that led directly to the plane on the tarmac. For this flight, I flew with Nam Air's Boeing 737-500 with winglets. The airplane is old and when I stepped into it, I just felt that I turned back time to fly in a retro plane. Quite impressive.
Citilink Airbus A320 from Denpasar
Business class cabin
Sriwijaya Boeing 737-500 from Denpasar
The plane is short, just few rows and you could reach the rear. It also has 8 business class seats. People boarded the plane quickly. The crew started their safety demo and the plane started taxiing to the runway.
Not long after taking off, the cabin crew started meal service. Each passenger was served a meal box which contained a hot meal and jelly. The hot meal was chicken with potatoes. Not really delicious but still fine. I love the jelly. Water and orange juice were served also. The flight duration for this sector is 2:15 hrs. After finishing my lunch, I tried to take a nap while the flight attendants were selling duty free goods to passengers.
When the plane started to approach Denpasar, a guy walked out of the bathroom and people in the cabin could smell the smoke. Yes, he was smoking in the toilet and of course the crew was alerted. The flight attendants looked upset, of course. One of the flight attendant came to the guy's seat and asked for his boarding pass. He seemed to not understand English. I didn't know where he's from. He spoke strange languages, at least not the South East Asian languages that I know. This guy looked weird from the beginning of the flight. Thanks God the plane was about to land in next 10 minutes. After landing, an airport security staff stood right at the door and escorted him to the tarmac. The guys grabbed his head. I think he had a terribly bad headache.
I boarded the bus with other passengers and went inside the terminal. There was a lane for ASEAN citizen and I cleared the immigration quickly, then run to the departure hall of Denpasar airport for connecting flight with Indonesia AirAsia X to Kuala Lumpur (I will report later).
Video of the flight:
Dili - DIL
Denpasar - DPS
An interesting first flight with Nam Air from Dili (Timor Leste) to Denpasar (Indonesia). Experiencing new carrier, new airport is great!
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