How to Get to Sumba Island
For international flights, you will need to travel via Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar. There are regular flights with Garuda Indoensia although most of them depart in the morning, thus an overnight stay in Bali is often required for international travellers.
Three airlines fly to Tambolaka airport, daily. To avoid spending the night in Bali, both the Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines morning flights, allow you to connect on the 1pm Garuda flight.
All foreign travelers to Indonesia need at least six months remaining on their passport as well as one full clean page for the visa on arrival stamp. Guests will be denied access to board the plane in departing country if this is not adhered to.
Merpati and Batavia are bankrupt; TransNusa reduced their flights since October 2015 and cancelled all flights to Sumba. So there are 3 airlines that fly to Sumba regularly. Garuda flies daily the route Denpasar Tambolaka Kupang while Lion Air = Wings Air flies the route Denpasar Waingapu Lombok. Srivijaya Air = Nam Air flies daily the route Denpasar Waingapu Maumere Kupang, while Lion Air = Wings Air flies Denpasar Waingapu Kupang. If TransNusa = Trigana = Aviastar comes back to business, they will probably fly 3 times the week Denpasar Tambolaka Ende Kupang.
By now flight schedules are usually respected. Only if there are too few passengers, flights could be cancelled. However due to the amount of stops throughout the day, there will be delays. Only during monsoon and during strong winds, they will not fly.
Garuda flies with modern slim planes. It may happen that not all the baggage gets in. With Wings you have to pay extra for more than 10 kg of luggage…
Online bookings with these airlines often do not work. So the airlines’ websites presented on my link site are for information only. If you don’t want to wait too long in Bali, Lombok or Kupang, you must pre-book through a travel agency or via the most comfortable and safest way with Ticketindonesia from home on the internet. This is sometimes cheaper than via search engines. For Pasola or holidays planes are usually sold out.
It is very important to tell the airlines an Indonesian cell phone number for return calls. A foreign mobile phone will not be rung due to high costs. In former times it has happened that a flight started before the time written on the ticket or schedule time. As a precaution you may ask the day before the flight, if everything is on schedule.
The airlines do not have offices in Sumba, but are represented by agencies. In Waingapu you get tickets of all airlines in Jalan Ahmad Yani next to hotel Elvin at: BPU Andrew Jonathan, phone 038761363 or 081238065155 and Elimindo, phone 038762776 or 081231015800.
In Waikabubak an agency is in the hotel Aloha (at the main crossing), one in the hotel Manandang and opposite the telephone mast and public internet station.
In Waitabula / Tambolaka there are various agencies in the main street.
You should take an Ojek to the airport in Waingapu, it is just 3 km. By the way, it has a new name: Umbu Mehang Kunda. From Waikabubak to the airport Tambolaka it is 42 km, which takes more than an hour. From Waitabula / Tambolaka you should also take an Ojek, it is less than 3 Km.
CURRENT FLIGHT SCHEDULE:
* Subject to change without prior notice!
Bali to Sumba
By Wings Air, ETD Bali 10.10 am, ETA Tambolaka 11.45 am
By Garuda, ETD Bali 1 pm, ETA Tambolaka 1.50 pm
Sumba to Bali
By Wings Air, ETD Sumba 12.00 pm, ETA Bali 13.35 pm
By Garuda, ETD Sumba 11.00 am, ETA Bali 12.10 pm
Getting there by Boat
Pelni Line – runs with the ship KM Awu (made in Papenburg/Germany) every 2 weeks the route: Benoa (Bali) – Bima (Sumbawa) – Waingapu – Ende (Flores) – Sabu (Sabu) – Rote (Rote) – Kupang (Timor) – Larantuka (Flores) – Kalabahi (Alor) – Kupang – Rote – Sabu – Ende – Waingapu – Bima – Benoa. The smaller ship Wilis runs every 2 Weeks the route: Labuan Bajo (Flores) – Waingapu – Ende – Kupang and back the same way. A current schedule is available on Pelni website. Pelni office in Waingapu is in Jalan Hasnnuddin at the old harbour, phone 038761665. Pelni operates from the new harbour. Although the new harbour is located opposite the old harbour, the overland route there is 7 km.
ASDP Indonesia Ferry – with the infamous small ferries – has no office in Sumba.
They go from Waingapu on Wednesday to Ende (Flores), Thursday to Sabu (Sabu) and Kupang (Timor) as well as Friday to Aimere (Flores) and Kupang (Timor). You get to Waingapu from Kupang on Monday and Thursday, from Savu on Tuesday, from Ende on Wednesday, Aimere on Friday. So the ASDP planned and published it on their website. In times of high waves or any problems these routes will not be operated. The almost actual departure times or dates are stuck on the entrance of the ferry terminal in Waingapu. You can contact ASDP in Kupang on 0380890420 and Waingapu on mobile phone 081339415045 or 085346593007. The ferry port of the ASDP is another 2 km behind the new port (where Pelni leaves) – from town this is 9 km.
It was planned that once ships to Savu will start from Baing in the south of Sumba. Due to high waves the construction of the port had been stopped.
From Waikelo in West Sumba the ASDP ferry goes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning to Sape (Sumbawa). Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening they return from Sape. The ferry continues from Sape to and from Labuan Bajo (Flores). This ferry service is more reliable than the connections from Waingapu. Phone in Sape: 037471075.
Private boats – for those who love adventure:
– Kalala to Savu, 10-meter-long boats, weekly, overnight, view navigation
– Katundu to Salura, outrigger canoes, on request or a bigger boat on Tuesdays =
market days, 2 hours