Review of NAM Air flight Jakarta Semarang-Java Island in Economy

Airline NAM Air
Flight IN222
Class Economy
Seat 7A
Aircraft Boeing 737-500
Flight time 01:00
Take-off 04 Oct 17, 14:00
Arrival at 04 Oct 17, 15:00
IN 2 reviews
anaknegeri
By 514
Published on 11th October 2017
Hello friends! Welcome to my report.

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.
photo 36834048314_370090db9d_b

The bus arrived at Terminal 2, and I had to alight here.
photo 37285604020_f6af7da217_b

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.
photo 36834047874_04ce1100de_b

photo 36834047464_e0a4993ebe_b

Flight schedule. Our flight was IN 222 to Semarang.
photo 36834043204_453ec3709c_b

photo 36834043434_bd89221dfd_b

Sriwijaya Air and Nam Air shared the same check in counters.
photo 37495901416_02219c9359_b

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.
photo 37495898456_8fee980252_b

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.
photo 36834042414_88fefc7c6f_b

Waiting room of Gate F4.
photo 36834041814_fcbd7bf68b_b

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.
photo 37495897356_44f2df39ff_b

Reaching the plane through an aerobridge.
photo 37495897156_1ce94f04d1_b

Need more space? You can choose the business class.
*I took the picture after arrival.
photo 36874504383_84a6df5e0c_b

The economy class.
photo 36874506413_ffcd3685ac_b

photo 36874505783_65bfdd022b_b

photo 36834038704_1b16346d56_b

Sights out of the window.
photo 37495896776_4ebcf34634_b

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.
photo 37495896076_9a3509d9c7_b

We had to wait this Garuda with "retro" livery to land, before the plane could fly.
photo 37495895956_ab25ac57f6_b

Leaving the land for a while.


The seatbelt sign was switched off. I then checked all stuff inside the pocket.

Safety card.
photo 37495895066_43107422ba_b

Prayer card, containing prayer of 6 official religions in Indonesia.
photo 37495894976_789d6cdf17_b

photo 36834032654_6569a6933e_b

"Sriwijaya" magazine.


In-flight shopping catalogue.
photo 37285587830_75b76fba45_b

photo 36874508993_aa88d5d1d0_b

Around 30 minutes after departure, the cabin crews started to distribute our snacks and drinks.

photo 36874508923_d0ce386335_b

photo 23691690538_fe5e788e64_b

During the flight, we could still see the land. The pilot told us that we were flying at 25,000 ft above sea level.

photo 23691690168_33bb365df3_b

Time to land. The Semarang's airport runway was on the seashore.
photo 36874508713_05fb3acd40_b

photo 36874508083_d2ed34d4fa_b

photo 36874507813_e9c48f6bfb_b

The airport terminal.
photo 36874506633_2b32962f3c_b

Parked together with Garuda.
photo 36874506923_16069cddeb_b

The plane stopped perfectly, and it was time to leave the plane.

*Notice the Spanish "servicio" sign.
photo 36874505003_8803129756_b

The final shot of PK-NAL plane which had brought me here.
photo 23691682858_a13d42cb28_bphoto 23691683208_6f381003df_b

No aerobridges here, so all passengers walked on the apron to terminal building.
photo 23691682708_0737d25071_b

The baggage claim area was very simple.
photo 36874502143_b84f4fe950_b

Arrival zone.
photo 23691639608_710b6eebd9_b

photo 23691681498_68dedd6002_b

Airport's entrance gate.
photo 23691681038_4a805ebf03_b

From the airport, I walked to the closest bus stop, and took the BRT bus to the city center.
photo 23691680838_f0f218c200_b

photo 37285580700_41f6e4c896_b

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.
photo 23691680468_843613def1_b

Semarang's old town (Kota Lama).
photo 36834009144_0140b94986_b

photo 37495878646_a552f2f4ca_b

Gereja Blenduk, or formally Immanuel Protestant Church, one of oldest church buildings in Indonesia.
photo 36874479713_ee15b76e69_b

photo 36874480263_c0b80ed2af_b

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.
photo 23691671468_cfe3dabf35_bphoto 23691673278_ff2506f0a6_b

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).
photo 37285577320_6b2d45a5e9_bphoto 23691674728_c24f30797c_b

Nasi Gandul Pak Subur.
photo 23691639088_a058f15780_bphoto 23691673628_3def0fc892_b

Nasi Ayam (chicken rice), similar with Solo's "nasi liwet".
photo 23691670628_ca2cefd4c8_bphoto 23691670338_3e61bd15c7_b

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.
See more

Verdict

NAM Air

5.4/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment5.0
Meal/catering7.0

Jakarta - CGK

6.4/10
Efficiency6.5
Access6.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness6.5

Semarang-Java Island - SRG

7.1/10
Efficiency6.5
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

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.

Related

4 Comments

  • Comment 416036 by
    Eric V P 43 Comments

    Thank you for sharing!

    Nam Air has only 2 airplane types: Boeing 737-500 (used for this flight) and ATR72
    - Just noticed that they now have ATR72. Do you know where are the ATR72s being deployed?

    I found the group's planes tend to be quite dated, but I also saw the 737-500 being deployed by Sriwijaya on one of your photos of the magazine - what are the differences between them?

    Their seats also seem a bit dense (although fair for their often competitive prices), but how did you find the legroom?

    The city tour made me somehow miss Semarang's spring rolls and beef tripe fried rice - how do you find the taste of the foods in Semarang?

    • Comment 416040 by
      anaknegeri AUTHOR 42 Comments

      Hi Eric! Thanks for your comment.

      "Just noticed that they now have ATR72. Do you know where are the ATR72s being deployed?"
      - AFAIK, they mainly use their 2 ATRs in Papua. They recently opened Papuan intra-island flights, even to the most remote city of Yahukimo in Jayawijaya region.

      "I found the group's planes tend to be quite dated, but I also saw the 737-500 being deployed by Sriwijaya on one of your photos of the magazine - what are the differences between them?"
      - Last year I went from Silangit to Jakarta with Sriwijaya's 737-500, and I did not spot any difference of the planes, especially the cabin. Almost 100% similar. The only different thing was probably the airlines logo.

      "Their seats also seem a bit dense (although fair for their often competitive prices), but how did you find the legroom?"
      - At least it had quite wider pitch than Citilink or AirAsia.

      "The city tour made me somehow miss Semarang's spring rolls and beef tripe fried rice - how do you find the taste of the foods in Semarang?"
      - Well, it's very difficult to explain foods taste by words. All of them are great and delicious. But as a Sumatran I still can't match my tongue with the Javanese sweet taste.

  • Comment 416089 by
    cheapflyer.JP 46 Comments

    Thank you for your nice report.
    The description about each city helped me to understand the background.
    And I realized that Nam air-500 had a cool winglet,making a modern looking.

Login to post a comment.