Flight Number: GA306 Origin Airport: Soekarno-Hatta International Airport - Jakarta, Indonesia (IATA: CGK/ICAO: WIII), Terminal 3 Destination Airport: Juanda International Airport - Surabaya, Indonesia (IATA: SUB/ICAO: WARR), Terminal 2
All time information are given in Western Indonesian Time (UTC+07.00) Standard Time of Departure: 0725 hrs Actual Time of Departure: 0756 hrs Standard Time of Arrival: 0905 hrs Actual Time of Arrival: 0856 hrs
Aircraft Registration Number: PK-GPL (MSN 1184) Aircraft Type: Airbus A330-243 Aircraft Age: 7 years as of November 2017 (delivered November 2010)
Hello guys! This time I'll be making an FR about the recent short getaway to Surabaya, East Java. I wanted to visit my grandma's sister because since her husband died 2 years ago she has been quite lonely and therefore paying a visit and having a conversation might be a good idea. I planned this trip about a month before and I selected November 17th because for that date my 1-hour class at uni was cancelled so I took the opportunity. I opted the 0725 hr flight with GA because on that slot GA deploys a A330-200. Along with the 777-300ER, the A332 is the only GA aircraft fleet that I've never flown with so I guess this is a good chance to fill the checklist in.
The A330-200 of the Garuda Indonesia fleet is the -243 type which means they're equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 772B-60 powerplants. Garuda Indonesia ordered 7 units of A330-200 to add to their now vast array of A330s, by having also 17 A330-300 in their line-up. The original 6 oldest units of A330-300 (GPA, GPC, GPD, GPE, GPF, GPG) has been serving for GA since December 1996 and is now refitted with an all-economy class configuration to serve on pilgrimage routes from several Indonesian cities like Jakarta, Solo, Banda Aceh, Medan, and Batam to Medina and Jeddah. The addition of the A330-200 is to add more fleet to be operated on medium to long-haul routes, namely destinations in Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and some high-traffic domestic routes such as Surabaya, Balikpapan, and Makassar. Since the lifting of the ban from European airspace, Garuda Indonesia reluctantly re-opened the Jakarta-Amsterdam route in 2010 using the at that time brand new A330-200, making a stop in Abu Dhabi International Airport. Since the arrival of the 777-300ERs in 2013, the A330-200 has been relieved of duty for the CGK-AMS route and since then has been focused to domestic and regional routes. There are rumours of the GA management's intention to utilise the A332 on routes to Manila and Moscow, to be determined in 2018. The A330-200 of GA is fitted in a 2-class configuration, which seats 36 business class passengers in a 6-abreast configuration, and 186 passengers in 8-abreast economy class seating, giving a total of 222 passengers in each unit.
For today's trip, I decided to depart from my house in South Jakarta at 0430. That is a very early time to rush to the airport because my flight is at 0725, and boarding time is 0650. Actually, on a typical traffic before 0600, with a distance of 37 kilometres a drive from my house to CGK would roughly take 30 minutes, if not less, due to the light morning traffic. However, the last time I went to CGK the traffic was suddenly congested for no reason and another congestion happened before the toll plaza because Indonesian people were not used yet to the all-electronic method of toll payment so it caused traffic jam for a few minutes, and therefore upon getting at Terminal 1 I had to run to the gates because I was literally very close to missing the flight. Damn Indonesians and their transport system efficiency. So this 0430 departure was a precaution to prevent the same thing to occur again, but luckily, this time the congestion only happened before the toll plaza and it was not as severe as it was back then in October so I got to the airport within 30 minutes and arrived at T3 by 0500. 1 hour and 50 minutes to boarding time, having checked-in beforehand and carrying only a backpack is pretty much a load of time to be killed.
Better too early than too late, though
Some sculptures that decorate the drop-off area for taxi and private vehicles in T3
Pretty much sums up Indonesian level of discipline and sense of queueing. Look how unorganized the drop-off area is. Look how the drivers like have no urge to queue and move fastly and efficiently because a lot of people behind you are waiting. It's very shameful to see other Indonesians' misbehavior in such an international space like an airport.
GA owns T3!
My boarding pass for today!
So in T3 you enter the doors, queue for the first security check, then cross another bridge that will get you to the super-big check-in area. You can see the sky is drenched in the blue dawn twilight. Jakarta is located within the southern hemisphere so November is nearing in the "summer" time. Today is very sunny and clear, quite a rare sight during the monsoon season. The sun rises at 0526 local time today and sets at 1750. Daylight is 12 hours, 24 minutes. It will be around 12 hours 35 minutes or so during the summer solstice on December 21st/22nd. While daylight during the "winter" solstice on June 21st lasts about 11 hours and 45 minutes. You're definitely living in the tropics if there's less than an hour of variation between the daylight length extremes of the summer and winter solstice. It's pretty unworldly for an Indonesian to experience winter. I was amazed when I went to Warsaw on mid-December 2015 because the sun rises at around 0740 then sets at 1525.
The check-in area during morning traffic
On the very edge of the check-in area where it is the closest to the 2nd security check, there are some designated counters for baggage drop, baggage-less check-in, and some automated check-in counters. Never got my hands on them so I haven't got an idea yet of how it works.
Mind the blurry pics but this is a picture of a designated check-in area for business and first class passengers, SkyTeam Elite Plus members, and GFF Silver and above card holders. No wonder it's so empty.
Getting to the 2nd security check area. The departure hall, consisting of the check-in counters, some shops, and the security checks are located at the 2nd level so you will proceed to the boarding gates that are at the 1st level downstairs.
This is the 2nd screening area. After clearing this point you will be directed left and you will find the escalators/elevators going downstairs to the boarding gates.
There is a huge screen displaying the departure information with the gates as well. You can see that my flight is at the very bottom, assigned to gate 13.
Free charging area but no locker/enclosed compartment so you might have to keep an eye on it while charging. The same as the ones on the boarding gate.
Some shops that you might encounter along the path to the escalators.
From the 2nd deck I can already see the beauty who's taking me today:)
So the escalators split into two, the right one leads directly to the boarding gate while the left one leads to a food court of some sort where there are various dining options agglomerated into an area. Even though if you go directly to the boarding gate you still have some coffee shops and dining options at the first level as well. The left escalator also leads to the Garuda Indonesia Lounge where upon getting to the mezzanine level you might be wondering where the lounge is. Yes, because the lounge is very remote and enclosed an there's some unfinished or undetermined space you have to get through first before reaching the lounge.
Into the boarding gates
The left escalator leads to the food court
PK-GPL ready for today's action!
There's also PK-GMG ready to operate GA820 bound for Kuala Lumpur International Airport (WMKK/KUL) later that morning.
Boarding is perfectly on-time at 0650 hrs local time
Boarding is done via airbridges, and I the angles that the airbridges give just made the aircraft look majestic
Those Rolls-Royce Trent 772s
Entering the plane!
Passing through the business class area
Today's flight is definitely packed
I'll be sitting at 40K today, which is on the right of the aircraft.
My view from the window.
Legroom is totally fine and seating is comfortable.
Safety instruction cards of the A330-200
Okay, now here are the things that get a bit serious. The IFE. First of all, you might want to take a look at the home screen.
If you have something in mind, then I bet it's pretty much the same within all of us. It looks a bit…outdated….
Even though the content and what it offers doesn't differ much than the newer, graphically fresher ones in the 738 but this just lacks the aesthetical point. Not to mention that it's not that responsive, prone to lags and tend to load a while if you're pressing a menu.
This is a shot I took while the safety video is running. There seems to be a mismatch between the resolution of the screen and the safety video. This makes the interpreter of the sign language at the bottom right corner is cut into half and therefore disabled people might don't get what the interpreter is saying.
Well, the conclusion is that GA should really consider updating the IFE's in their A332 fleet. Especially if they're really planning to deploy the A332s on new routes like Moscow and Manila.
Pushback is pretty much on time as well
Triple A330 trouble! (quadruple if you want to count my plane as well)
Terminal 3 from another perspective
Let me introduce you to GPL's big bro, GHD. PK-GHD was delivered back in May 2016 and is the newest out of the A330-300 line-up that GA operates. The newer A330 series (PK-GHA, PK-GHC, PK-GHD) is a treat for GA flyers because instead of 9-inch, you get a very big touch screen 11.1-inch IFE as a standard amenity for the economy class passengers! I do hope to fly on the newer series someday. These brand new A330s are fitted in a 287 passenger configuration. The latter is broken down to 24 business class seats in herringbone configuration and 263 economy class seats. The economy class seats doesn't differ from the older fleet, only the IFE gives the value. But the business class here is a whole new level. These business class seats feature a 60-inch seat pitch as well as a 180-degree reclining system capable of transforming the seat into a lie-flat bed. It features a herringbone 4-abreast 1-2-1 configuration instead as 2-2-2 standard configuration on the older A333/A332 units.
We're trailing a hell lot of aircrafts lining up for takeo-off, 8 in the morning is definitely not a good time to start at CGK
On the way we encountered PK-GNU as well
Finally entering the runway
Despite the on-time boarding and pushback process the queue to the runway slowed the entire process so the pilots definitely rushed
The time on my watch shows it is 0756 at the time of rotation, 31 minutes off the schedule
Making an immediate sharp bank, giving us views of the local vicinity in Tangerang
Cloud cover over reclamated lands undergoing construction progress in the shores of Northern Jakarta
Vicinity of Penjaringan in North Jakarta, an area notorious for Muara Karang Power Plant and the centre for the fishing and maritime activities in Jakarta. There is a big fish market which is located near some historical buildings, such as the Maritime Museum (Museum Bahari), which utilises an abandoned warehousing space made by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. The Penjaringan area also houses Menara Syahbandar, previously De Uitkijk Post, which is a 12-metre high outpost tower used to watch and help ships navigate to the Muara Angke Harbour in the past. It was constructed by the Dutch Colonial Government in 1837. A datum which is used as the starting point of Jakarta is located adjacent to the tower as well.
For a day in the month of November, such a clear day like this one is a rare sight, seeing the mountains south of Jakarta like Mt. Salak, Mt. Gede, and Mt. Pangrango even from an airplane is a treat, owing the continuously rising level of air pollution.
This picture is a clear imagery of Ancol Bay City, a designated development area in the eastern part of Jakarta's shoreline which consists of various housing and residential areas, as well as housing Jakarta's notorious amusement park, Dunia Fantasi (Dufan). There are also some beaches, however, the quality of the beaches and hygiene levels there are not top notch. Nontheless, it has been an all-time favourite for Jakartans to visit in their free time.
Such a fantastic weather for flying today! The pilots must be enjoying this much
The seatbelt signed has been switched off, and I seems that someone requested the FA's to bring them blankets. For an hour flight. Yep, you heard me, that's blankets what she's getting from the overhead compartment. Honestly, Indonesians are so prone to cold temperatures, as anything below 20 degrees celsius is considered freezing. But not for me personally though.
We are gradually leaving the scenery of the capital city and continue to head eastwards.
These are the areas east of Jakarta, namely the satellite city of Bekasi and the fertile paddy fields beyond it. The Bekasi Regency is notorious for its wealth of paddy fields and is a the hub of rice production for the nation.
Passing some layers of cloud cover during our ascent into the cruising altitude
From the paddy fields of Bekasi we slowly shift into the industrial area in Karawang Regency, some 50 kilometres east of the capital
The perfect weather this morning gives us a stunning view of Jatiluhur Dam and the surrounding mountains of Parahyangan Plateau, the heart of West Java. If you head further into the mountains southwards you will eventually reach the city of Bandung, the current city I'm living in. Despite it's not that far from the Jatiluhur Dam it is impossible to get a clear glimpse of the city because it is , surrounded by several mountains which are over 2000 metres high. The city of Bandung is located in a bowl-shaped basin with an average altitude of 736 metres above mean sea level, giving the city significantly lower day and night temperatures than any other Indonesian city.
An update on the cabin situation
Reached our cruising altitude!
The headphones which are nothing special and could've been a lot better for a 5-star airline.
Some 20 minutes into the flight and after settling into our cruising altitude, meal service is commencing.
And no hot meals as well this time! I wonder which GA flights are serving hot meals nowadays because it has been quite a rare thing lately. The snack box is comprised of a savoury spicy chicken curry-filling bread and two cookies. I liked the cookies better, they were very good indeed. One cookie is a chocolate cookie while the other is adorned with nuts and raisin. Both of them are equally good for me. But the curry bread works as well for me, though.
Even though hot meals are not served for today's flight, what differs GA and gives them value over other carriers is the beverage service with various options and you can ask for more if you want.
Somewhere over the Pacific Ring of Fire..
The first officer personally addressed us announcing the start of descent into Juanda Airport.
We're back to flying low above ground, and it is obvious that despite being located on the same island, the climate between Jakarta in the west and Surabaya in the east is different. Jakarta's climate is categorized as an Am (tropical monsoon) climate in Koppen climate classification, which means even in the driest seasons there are still a chance of rain. While Surabaya and the latter of East Java is known to feature the Aw (tropical savanna) climate, where the dry seasons are extremely dry with almost no precipitation for months, until the monsoon season comes back at the end of the year.
The legroom for GA's A332 economy class
I guess this is the Surabaya-Mojokerto expressway which is still undergoing construction
The areas surrounding the airport (I heard it's called Betro or something) is obviously packed with industrial estates!
We're nearly there!
Well, saddening to see because this is a facility owned by the now-defunct carrier Merpati Nusantara. It was once a state-owned enterprise and is designated by the government to provide service and connection to remote areas. Now the government only have the GA Explore brand to serve on those routes.
Safely touched down!
Making our way through the taxiway
Juanda International Airport is the primary airport serving the Surabaya Metropolitan Area, one of the biggest urban agglomerations in Indonesia. Surabaya itself is the most populated single city-level jurisdiction area in Indonesia, as Jakarta is a province and technically it is divided into 5 statutory cities. It is located some 25 kilometres south of the city centre in the district of Betro, Sidoarjo Regency, East Java. It serves the city of Surabaya since 1960 and has one runway, runway 10/28 which is 3000 metres in length. The old terminal building is being continuously rejuvenated, meanwhile the new Terminal 2 was inaugurated on February 2014. International carriers namely Silk Air, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Jetstar, Singapore Airlines, AirAsia Malaysia and the flag carrier Garuda Indonesia operate out of Terminal 2. Here is the aircraft reaching its final position at T2 Juanda.
It seems that I've been sitting right above the baggage hatch all this time!
As I'm in no rush, I just waited for all of the passengers, I was one of the last to disembark
Making my way out and I managed to snap the lavatories
Disembarkation is done via airbridges and the plane is parked on the apron in an oddly-aligned way as the aircraft makes a 45-degree angle with the terminal building, instead of facing right into the building like the rest of the aircrafts. Walking through the airbridges and I encounter majestic views of our beautiful aircraft!
Thank you PK-GPL!
Walking my way through the departure hall towards the baggage claim and exit area. This level is one storey above the baggage claim and exits.
The baggage claim area
This is the commercial area after you proceed through the exits
Overall, the Juanda T2 is adequate in many ways but not the best. It is moderately clean and well-maintained, as well as efficient.
Jakarta - CGK
Surabaya - SUB
GA service never ceases to amaze me so it's a nice experience overall, but they might consider revitalizing the outdated IFE system on these series of aircrafts.
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