Firstly, as usual, please apologize for my bad English, and also bad photo quality as I took all shots by my cellphone.
This is a report of a short flight, less than 1 hour in the air. The flight departed from Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Jakarta to Ahmad Yani International Airport, Semarang, both located on Java Island. The airline carrying me this time was Nam Air, a subsidiary of one of popular Indonesian airlines, Sriwijaya Air. This was my 1st flight with it, and also my 1st flight to Semarang, though I had frequently visited Semarang by trains or express buses from Jakarta.
About NAM AIR It's Sriwijaya Air's subsidiary. Both even fly together and share same ticket prices on many routes, like our route this time (Jakarta-Semarang), but there are also routes served only by one of them. The main difference between them is their fleets. Nam Air has only 2 airplane types: Boeing 737-500 (used for this flight) and ATR 72, while Sriwijaya Air has Boeing 737-300/500/800/900 and recently orders 777-200 for long-haul flights. But inside the cabin their service are almost 100% similar. The similarities between them make many people, including me, quite confused. The "NAM" name is derived from the Chinese name of Sriwijaya Air's owner (Mr Chandra Lie)'s father, Lo Kui Nam. It's focusing in domestic flights, but it also serves an international route from Bali to Dili, East TImor, v.v. I was so curious about this carrier, so I chose it for my flight. The ticket costed IDR 340,000 (about USD 25.00)
About SEMARANG Semarang is capital and largest city of Central Java Province, the province where Borobudur and Prambanan Temple are located. It's an unique city with a mix of Javanese and Chinese culture. The Chinese people, especially from Fujian and Guangdong region, had been living in Semarang and surrounding areas in Northern Java for more than 6 centuries. They have been assimilated with local Javanese people, making a new identity culture like the "Peranakan" in Singapore, Malacca (Malaysia), and Jakarta. One of the result of the culture mix is a popular food of Semarang, "lumpia" or "loenpia", a Chinese spring roll with local Semarang taste. Semarang is not a tourist city like Jogja or Solo, but many tourists make it as a starting point to Jogja, Solo, Borobudur Temple, Dieng Plateau, and Karimunjawa Islands. But the city itself has interesting sights, especially Chinese temples and unique foods. While the city is bordering the sea, it doesn't have beaches for leisure. Semarang's only airport is Ahmad Yani International Airport. It's mainly serving domestic flights, but there are also international flights to Singapore by SilkAir (Singapore Airlines' subsidiary) and Indonesia AirAsia, and also to Kuala Lumpur by Malaysian AirAsia. The airport currently has a relatively small terminal building, but the construction of a new terminal is ongoing.
The Main Story
October 4th, 2017. From my lovely home in Depok city at the southern side of Jakarta, I took an express bus to Soekarno-Hatta Airport. The traffic of Jakarta at 11.00 a.m. was still quite terrible, with a long traffic jam on Jakarta's inner toll road. We were stuck in the jam for about 1 hour, but after that the traffic was good, only a queue at Cengkareng toll plaza before entering the airport.
As usual, the bus would enter the Terminal 1 first, before our destination at Terminal 2.
There was an A330 of Lion Air at Terminal 1.
Reaching Terminal 2. A plane of Vietnam Airlines could be seen. I wonder when it will move to the new Terminal 3.
The bus arrived at Terminal 2, and I had to alight here.
Terminal 2F is dedicated for domestic flights. It was previously used exclusively by Garuda, but since its moving to Terminal 3, it's currently used by Sriwijaya Air and AirAsia. Citilink has also planned to move here after the moving of all Skyteam members to Terminal 3.
Flight schedule. Our flight was IN 222 to Semarang.
Sriwijaya Air and Nam Air shared the same check in counters.
I had done the online check in, so I only needed to print the pass. It was very simple, using a paper which reminded me to grocery stores' receipts.
As there were still more than 30 minutes before boarding, I explored check-in counters of other airlines at Terminal 2. Personally I really loved the "Singapore Girls" shown at SQ's counter.
Then I proceed to the boarding gate. As usual, there was a security check before entering it.
Waiting room of Gate F4.
While waiting for boarding, I took some pics outside the window. Unfortunately, I did not see my favorite Gulf and European carriers.
The boarding was scheduled at 1.00 p.m., but we were actually called at 1.30 p.m., 30 minutes behind the schedule.
The plane, Boeing 737-500 with reg code PK-NAL, titled "Kesejahteraan" (prosperity). It was 22 years old (December 1994), having been operated previously by Continental / United Airlines before handed to Sriwijaya Air and Nam Air.
Reaching the plane through an aerobridge.
Need more space? You can choose the business class. *I took the picture after arrival.
The economy class.
Sights out of the window.
The plane was pushed back at 2.00 p.m. Then the beautiful young cabin crews started the safety instructions.
Some pics before take-off. Cathay, Eva Air, and Oman Air were also seen.
Garuda's 777 with Skyteam livery. It was used for Hajj flights at that time.
We had to wait this Garuda with "retro" livery to land, before the plane could fly.
Leaving the land for a while.
The seatbelt sign was switched off. I then checked all stuff inside the pocket.
Prayer card, containing prayer of 6 official religions in Indonesia.
In-flight shopping catalogue.
Around 30 minutes after departure, the cabin crews started to distribute our snacks and drinks.
During the flight, we could still see the land. The pilot told us that we were flying at 25,000 ft above sea level.
Time to land. The Semarang's airport runway was on the seashore.
The airport terminal.
Parked together with Garuda.
The plane stopped perfectly, and it was time to leave the plane.
*Notice the Spanish "servicio" sign.
The final shot of PK-NAL plane which had brought me here.
No aerobridges here, so all passengers walked on the apron to terminal building.
The baggage claim area was very simple.
Airport's entrance gate.
From the airport, I walked to the closest bus stop, and took the BRT bus to the city center.
I stayed for a night in the city, and returned to Jakarta on the next day by an express train.
BONUS: some pics of Semarang city and its must-try foods.
"Tugu Muda" Monument. The old building behind it is "Lawang Sewu" (Javanese: "thousand gates"). Formerly an headquarter office of a train company, it's now a museum.
Semarang's old town (Kota Lama).
Gereja Blenduk, or formally Immanuel Protestant Church, one of oldest church buildings in Indonesia.
Sam Poo Kong Chinese Temple, with the statue of Zheng He, a Chinese admiral who lead an expedition to explore Indian Ocean. The temple was dedicated to him, though he was actually a Hui Muslim.
Buddhagaya Temple, a Chinese Buddhist temple.
Simpang Lima, Semarang's 0-km point. In Indonesian "Simpang" means "intersection" while Lima means "five" (not to be confused with Peru's capital). The area contains a green area as a leisure place for the local people especially at night.
Some of must-try foods in Semarang. Unfortunately it's really difficult to explain these foods in English, so you have to taste it by yourself.
Nasi Goreng Babat Pak Karmin ("nasi goreng babat" = a fried rice with sliced beef tripe and scrambled egg).
Nasi Gandul Pak Subur.
Nasi Ayam (chicken rice), similar with Solo's "nasi liwet".
Toko Oen, Semarang's oldest restaurant, opened since the Dutch colonial era. It has a same restaurant in Malang, East Java. Its ice creams are very famous.
Finally, Semarang's signature dish: Lumpia / Loenpia, a Chinese-style spring roll with local Semarang taste. One of famous lumpias is "Mbak Lien". The others are "Lumpia Gang Lombok" and "Lumpia Mataram". All 3 lumpia sellers are relatives and direct descendants of Semarang lumpia inventor, Tjoa Thay Yoe and his son-in-law Siem Gwan Sing.
Jakarta - CGK
Semarang-Java Island - SRG
First time with Nam Air, I'm satisfied and don't have any negative comment about it. Departed about 30 minutes behind the schedule, it was still normal for Indonesian flights. The 22-years-old cabin was still well-maintained and clean, but the old age could not be hidden and signs as an old plane could be seen. Cabin crews were nice and friendly. For a flight less than 1 hour, it did not provide a complete meal set but only 2 cookies and a cup of water, and personally I think it was enough for a short flight. No IFEs, the only entertainment source was the magazine and your own gadgets.
Soekarno-Hatta Airport Terminal 2F was good enough, and it's currently my favorite domestic terminal, with its location adjacent to international terminals of 2D and 2E. If you're lucky, here you can spot international carriers easily. More comments about the airport can be read on my previous reports.
Ahmad Yani International Airport, Semarang, is a small airport. Its cleanliness needs to be improved, and personally for me it's too small for one of Indonesian largest cities, especially that it has only 2 small baggage belts. But I really like it's location. It's very close to the city center, and also accessible by city bus system. The new terminal building is under construction.
Thanks for reading. Any suggestion and feedback are appreciated.
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