THE LAST PARADISE ON EARTH After spending some months in the archipelago nation of Indonesia, me, along with my colleagues decided to finish our trip off with a visit to Bali. Curious to see what the 'hype' was all about, I tagged along. A few weeks before traveling to Bali, I had seen that the LionAir Group received three 737MAX8 aircraft, 1 to Malindo (Malaysia) and 2 to Lion Air Indonesia. Some time was spent in trying to figure out the schedule of this aircraft (PK-LQJ), since the other MAX aircrafts were flying other routes to China and within Indonesia. After figuring out the schedule from GCK-DPS, I got lucky and booked the ticket; possibly the highlight of my trip.
A/C Details. Lion Mentari Airlines PK-LQJ 0.2 Years Seat 5A
This report is my return leg as I flew the reverse route from CGK-DPS on Lion Air's 737-900ER.
Here are a few pictures en route to Bali. The volcanic landforms on north-east part of Java offered a picturesque approach into Denpasar. Sunset quickly rolled in and by the time we were on final, it was dark out. Most Lowcost carriers operating from Indonesia (Lion, Sriyijaya, Citilink, NAM Air) and Australia (Jetstar, Virgin Australia) use the far right apron at DPS.
Kuta Beach that runs along the coastline right up to the airport's perimeter, which is a great spot to spot arrivals.
After check-in and a quick security check, I entered a very busy domestic departures hall which is typical for DPS.
Airlines operating from this terminal include Sriyijaya, NAM, the Lion Air Group, and Citilink to name a few. Domestic passengers either use the 8 gates to the far left of the terminal or board via stairs on the parking apron to the far right of the airfield. Here is an aerial view of the entire apron, with the regional flights on the right of the picture.
My aircraft, PK-LQJ arrived late from Chengdu, China, resulting in a delayed departure for JT41. I took this time to spot some aircraft. One of four daily Singapore A333s seen departing back to SIN. I zoomed into Air Asia's A320 NEO taxiing for takeoff.
About two hours delayed (typical for Lion Air), JT41 was ready to board. Buses met us at the gate then took us remote parking.
Driving along airside was met with many widebodies with flights to Australia, the Middle East, and China. Garuda Indonesia just like in Jakarta, uses the best terminal and although most flights in this terminal serve international markets, Garuda operates within Indonesia.
NEW CHARTER : While I was spotting, a Mahan Air A340-600 quickly passed me but glad I got a few shots as we drove by. I believe this was the inaugural flight. The handling crew taking pictures under the jetbridge.
As we arrived to gate I was unsure if I, in fact, got lucky to on fly the 737MAX8 since the Lion Air schedule could have unexpectedly changed, just as it did on my flight from Jakarta.
The 737MAX was nestled between two Sriyijaya 737s and obvious A/C differences were spotted from the height of aircraft to the engines, and even the 9 ft 6" winglets.
When boarded, I noticed that the new aircraft smell was still there. The cabin was ambiance light and airy, a huge comparison to that of their 737-900ERs. The MAX still has the sky interior, however. I managed to get a picture of the safety card. It is shared with the 737-800 New Generation.
Views out the window. The Leap-1B engines are HUGE! You can see the difference between the 737 NG winglet and the 737MAX winglet.
Strangely, although this aircraft is brand new, I noticed the LionAir logo peeling off. Also, the overhead is dirty.
Shortly after the doors were closed and this is a new for me; the first officer read the safety briefing.
The taxi to the runway was relatively short. We were followed by a NAM Air 737-300 and in the distance, you can spot the sea of Garuda Indonesia planes.
Snapped a few pics of the upwind. I also got some shots of the Bali scenery. The LEAP engines take up a lot of the viewing area of the window view.
We made a left turn and headed towards Jakarta.
The scenery whilst flying over eastern Java was breathtaking. Volcanoes, both active and dormant were spotted as far as the eye could have seen.
Just after the sky became broken and the great scenes disappeared. Soon after however, we began to descend into Jakarta.
Spotted some traffic as we taxied to the gate. I also saw Lion Air's newest 737MAX 8, PK-LQH.
Quick last look at my beautiful ride. Didn't get any pictures of Terminal 1 at CGK.
Thank you for viewing! Look out for my other trip reports!
Lion Mentari Airlines
Denpasar - DPS
Jakarta - CGK
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