Welcome to one of my reports. Firstly, as usual, please apologize for my bad English, and there will be more pictures than words.
Here is the story of an Indonesian domestic flight on March 2017 with Sriwijaya Air. The name "Sriwijaya" was derived from an A.D. 6th century Buddhist kingdom founded in South Sumatra. It is one of Indonesian private airlines, with more than 50 domestic routes, 2 international routes (Medan-Penang & Denpasar-Dili), and chartered flight from/to China. If Garuda Indonesia is full service carrier, while AirAsia is low cost carrier (LCC), well, I don't know what Sriwijaya Air is to be categorized as. Its ticket prices are almost similar with local LCCs, but in long-distance flights (> 2 hours) they do serve meal sets, something you won't find in LCCs.
The flight route of this story was Solo (Adi Sumarmo Airport) - Jakarta (Soekarno-Hatta Airport). Solo, or formally called "Surakarta", is located in Central Java Province and also its 2nd largest city. Together with Yogyakarta, Solo is well-known as "heart" of Javanese culture, as it was the political center of 2 kingdoms: Surakarta Hadiningrat and Mangkunegaran (both of them declared as part of Indonesia after Indonesian independence in 1945). The palaces of both kingdoms are now main tourist attraction. Solo is also famous as centre of "batik" industry. I personally can't forget Solo's traditional foods like "bakso" (meatballs with noodles and soup), "tengkleng" (a kind of goat soup), "nasi liwet" (rice dish with coconut milk), and many others.
I arrived in Solo from Jakarta by intercity bus, so there is no flight report on Jakarta-Solo sector. After spending a night in this medium-size city, I had to go back to my hometown in Jakarta on March 17th of 2017. Currently there are 6 operators of Solo-Jakarta flight route: Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Batik Air, Citilink, Sriwijaya Air, and Nam Air. Then I decided to buy Sriwijaya Air ticket for only IDR 370,000 (around USD 29).
Before to the main story, I will show you some snapshots of Solo city.
Slamet Riyadi Road, the main road of Solo, with the statue of Brig. Gen. Ignatius Slamet Riyadi, an Indonesian army member died during the combat with Moluccan separatists.
Pasar Gede (big market), one of Solo's main markets.
Taman Sriwedari, one of community parks in Solo.
Loji Gandrung, the official residence of the "Walikota" (Major) of Solo. One of its former "Walikota", Mr Joko Widodo, is now President of Indonesia.
Church of St. Paul, a Roman Catholic church.
My breakfast: Soto Triwindu. "Soto" is a popular Indonesian-style soup.
My lunch: Bakso Alex. In other cities of Indonesia "bakso" is usually served only with noodles, but here in Solo "bakso" is served also with rice.
From the Slamet Riyadi Road, I hop a city bus to Adi Sumarmo Airport. The fare system of the bus is quite confusing. If you alight at any bus stops before the airport, the fare is only IDR 4.500, but if you alight at the airport terminal, the fare jumps dramatically to IDR 20.000.
*The man with shirt in front of me and his son were also going to Jakarta with Sriwijaya Air SJ 215, same flight with me. He just told me some minutes before reaching the airport.
Entering airport area. An Airbus A330-300 of Garuda was seen from the far.
OK, now we are entering the main part of the story.
Sriwijaya Air Solo (SOC) - Jakarta Soekarno Hatta (CGK) March 17th, 2017 Flight no: SJ 215 Reg code: PK-CKI ("Kebaikan") Type: Boeing 737-300 Dep: 5.00 p.m. (UTC+7) Arr: 6.00 p.m. (UTC+7)
The city bus reached a bus stop at around 200 m from the airport. I didn't want to pay the unusual fare of IDR 20.000, so I alighted there. Then I walked to the airport area. This was my first time visit to the airport.
The airport's building was resembling the "Joglo", traditional Javanese house.
Check in area.
Our flight: SJ 215, scheduled to depart at 4.50 p.m.
Garuda's counter, with usual Skyteam identity.
Lion Air's banner promoting their new route from Solo to KL. Unfortunately it has been terminated after 3 weeks. I think their promotion was not effective. Currently the sole operator of the route is Malaysian AirAsia.
Check in counters of Sriwijaya Air. Here I got my powerful paper to fly. Yes, the boarding pass was printed on a simple paper, reminding me to grocery stores' receipts.
After the check-in, I proceed to the waiting hall. While on the way to it, there was a calendar of tourism events that would be held in Solo.
The waiting hall. Not too crowded.
The waiting hall was equipped with charging outlets. Wi-fi was also available.
No international flights for that day, so the immigration counter was closed.
Sights outside the window were more interesting. Citilink ready for departure to Jakarta-Halim Airport.
The A330 of Garuda Indonesia, ready for departure to Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta. The passengers were lucky to get this wide-body jet, while usually the flight was served by B738.
Batik Air, also to Jakarta-Halim.
Then the Sriwijaya Air's aircraft bringing me to Jakarta arrived. It was Boeing 737-300, with registration code PK-CKI, titled "Kebaikan" (kindness / virtue). The details on Planespotters shows that the aircraft was 25.1 years old, having been operated by TAESA Mexico, Sobelair Belgium, Air One Italy, and KrasAir Russia, before handed to Sriwijaya Air in 2010.
Time for boarding through an aerobridge.
While boarding, a Lion Air aircraft was ready for departure to Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan.
Entering the aircraft, as usual, we were warmly welcomed by cabin crews, young cabin crews.
On the eastern side, Batik Air was still waiting for departure.
All passengers had embarked. Cabin crews started the safety instructions. Fortunately, there were no queue to take-off. The aircraft left the runway and flew smoothly at about 5.00 p.m.
Passing the Waduk (lake) Cengklik, shortly after take-off.
*The "curve" at upright side of the picture was part of Solo-Surabaya Toll Road project.
Clouds at an hour before sunset.
Seatbelt sign were switched off, and we could move freely. Time to check any stuff inside the seatpocket.
Inflight shopping catalogue.
*I was more focusing to the models than the products. Hahahaha.
On this "short" flight (< 2 hours), there wasn't any meal set. The cabin crews gave us only a "Tango" wafer and a cup of mineral water.
As there was no IFE, I used my cellphone as source of entertainment, listening musics and watching some videos.
About 10 minutes before landing, Java Sea was seen outside the window.
Industrial zones around the airport.
Finally the aircraft landed safely and smoothly in Soekarno-Hatta Airport at about 6.00 p.m.
Sriwijaya Air used the Terminal 2F (formerly used by Garuda before moving to the new Terminal 3), adjacent to international terminals of 2D & 2E. That's why we could easily see international airlines' fleets from our aircraft.
Garuda and ANA.
Qantas just landed from Sydney, with Singapore Airlines at its right side.
Garuda A330. There was also a plane of Thai Airways behind it.
Garuda 777 could also be seen, just arrived from London.
KLM just landed from Amsterdam through Kuala Lumpur. I checked the FR24, its registration code was PH-BVN.
Reaching the gate. Our aircraft was parked beside the Nam Air, Sriwijaya's subsidiary.
Time to leave the aircraft. This time we were not using aerobridges/
Way to terminal building.
Baggage claim area. I didn't check any bags, so I didn't have anything to claim here.
The belt was used together with AirAsia flight from Yogyakarta.
Then I went straightly to the bus station, to hop the express bus to my lovely home.
Sukarata(Solo)-Java Island - SOC
Jakarta - CGK
The Sriwijaya Air flight SJ 215 departed at punctual time without any delay, but I can't guarantee that there won't be delays on other flights of Sriwijaya Air. The PK-CKI "Kebaikan" (kindness, virtue) aircraft was clean and well-maintained, not showing any signs of "aging" aircraft (25.1 years old). The seats were comfortable and provided enough seat pitch, at least for a man with 180 cm tall like me. Cabin crews were polite and friendly. For the meals, I got only a pack of "Tango" wafer and a cup of drink, but personally I think it was enough for a flight in similar ticket price with LCCs. No IFE systems, the only entertainment provided by the airline were "Sriwijaya" magazine and shopping catalogue.
As my first time visit, I was so glad that I could embark the airplane from Solo's Adi Sumarmo Airport. It was nice and clean. Its architecture was heavily inspired by Javanese culture. The staffs were friendly and helpful. Charging outlets and Wi-fi were operating normally at the waiting hall and could be your source of entertainment before boarding.
Soekarno-Hatta Airport was good. As usual, no further comments about this airport. But Terminal 2F was the airport's best domestic terminal. Sriwijaya Air, Nam Air, and Indonesia AirAsia are so lucky to occupy the terminal after Garuda moved to Terminal 3.
Thanks for reading. Any suggestion and feedback are appreciated.
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