Indonesia is well connected to the rest of the world by numerous airlines. Many international flights, especially those to Bali, stop first in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur due to runway restrictions at Bali.
Airports & Airlines
The principal gateways for entry to Indonesia are Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport (which is sometimes shown as Denpasar in schedules).
Both are in the midst of expansion and projects. Other airports with international links – albeit limited – include Balikpapan, Medan, Padang, Surabaya, Lombok and Manado.
Multiple international airlines service Indonesia.
Air New Zealand (www.airnewzealand.com) Serves Bali and Jakarta from Australia and New Zealand.
AirAsia (www.airasia.com) Budget airline serving a wide range of Indonesian destinations from Australia, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore.
Asiana (www.flyasiana.com) Bali and Jakarta from Seoul.
Cathay Pacific Airways (www.cathaypacific.com) Bali and Jakarta from Hong Kong.
China Airlines (www.china-airlines.com) Bali and Jakarta from Taipei.
Emirates (www.emirates.com) Bali and Jakarta from Dubai.
Eva Air (www.evaair.com) Bali and Jakarta from Taipei.
Firefly (www.fireflyz.com.my) Serves major cities on Sumatra from Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia.
Garuda Indonesia (www.garuda-indonesia.com) Indonesia's main national airline serves Bali and Jakarta from Australia, Asia and Amsterdam.
Japan Airlines (www.jal.co.jp) Jakarta from Tokyo.
Jetstar/Qantas (www.qantas.com.au) Bali and Jakarta from Australia.
KLM (www.klm.com) Jakarta and Bali from Amsterdam via Singapore.
Korean Air (www.koreanair.com) Bali and Jakarta from Seoul.
Lion Air (www.lionair.co.id) Rapidly expanding carrier with services across Indonesia and the region. Wings Air is its regional subsidiary.
Lufthansa (www.lufthansa.com) Jakarta from Frankfurt.
Malaysia Airlines (www.mas.com.my) Bali and Jakarta from Kuala Lumpur.
Qatar Airways (www.qatarairways.com) Bali and Jakarta from Doha.
Scoot (www.flyscoot.com) Budget carrier merged with Tiger Air in 2017. Currently flies to Jakarta and Surabaya.
Silk Air (www.silkair.com) Serves numerous Indonesian destinations from Singapore including Bandung, Balikpapan, Lombok, Manado, Medan, Palembang, Pekanbaru, Surabaya and Yogyakarta.
Singapore Airlines (www.singaporeair.com) Numerous flights to Bali and Jakarta daily.
Sriwijaya Air (www.sriwijayaair.co.id) Expanding airline with routes to Malaysia, Singapore and Timor-Leste.
Thai Airways International (www.thaiair.com) Serves Bali and Jakarta from Bangkok.
Virgin Australia (www.virginaustralia.com) Serves Bali from several Australian cities.
Check websites to get an idea of airfares to Indonesia. Don't limit yourself to major sites either; search for 'Indonesian airfares' and you may well find sites belonging to small travel agents who specialise in Indonesian travel. This can be particularly helpful when you are trying to book a complex itinerary to remote locations.
Departure tax is almost always included in the price of the ticket.
Indonesian Airline Safety
There's no way around it: Indonesia's airlines do not have a good safety record. From 2014–15 more than 360 people died in a string of aviation disasters. Flying conditions are often challenging (monsoons, volcanic eruptions etc), safety standards can be lax and the airlines themselves run in a less-than-professional manner especially as some expand very rapidly, outpacing efforts to instill a safety culture.
Many Indonesian airlines remain banned by the EU (www.ec.europa.eu/transport/air-ban/list_en.htm) from its airspace because of safety concerns. Notable exceptions are Garuda Indonesia and Indonesia AirAsia.
Should you be worried? The odds of a fatal flight in Indonesia are very small, even if they are higher than elsewhere. When possible, pick a major airline over a smaller one and in really remote locations, feel free to do your own inspection of the plane and crew before you fly.
There are four possible land crossings into Indonesia.
Regular buses between Pontianak (Kalimantan) and Kuching (Sarawak, eastern Malaysia) pass through the border post at Entikong. You can get a visa on arrival on this route. A crossing is possible between Lubok Antu, Sarawak and Badau, West Kalimantan provided you have a visa in advance.
The border crossing between West and East Timor (Timor-Leste) is open. Get a Timor-Leste visa in Kupang; a visa is required when travelling from East to West Timor.
The road from Jayapura or Sentani in Indonesia to Vanimo in Papua New Guinea can be crossed, depending on the current political situation. A visa is required if travelling into Indonesia.
There is currently no passenger sea travel between the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. In 2017 a new cargo ferry was due to begin operating between Mindanao (Philippines) and Sulewesi.
Major cruise lines often run cruise ships between Bali and Australia.
There are regular ferry services between Dili in Timor-Leste and Oecussi (including a new fast ferry), which borders West Timor. If crossing into Indonesia from here you will need to have organised your visa already in Dili.
Regular and comfortable high-speed ferries run the two-hour journey between Melaka (Malaysia) and Dumai (Sumatra). From Johor Bahru in southern Malaysia, daily ferries run to Pulau Bintan in Sumatra's Riau Islands.
Ferries connect Tarakan and Nunukan in East Kalimantan with Tawau in Sabah. For these routes you'll need a visa in advance.
From Batam, speedboats travel to Tanjung Buton with minibus connections to Pekanbaru on the Sumatran mainland. Otherwise, Pelni ships pass through Batam to and from Belawan (the port for Medan) and Jakarta.
Boats also travel between Pulau Bintan and Singapore. Service includes Bintan Resort Ferries (www.brf.com.sg).