New routes from Wings Air; more options for visiting Sumba and Sumbawa islands.
From early September 2010 passenger airlines Wings Air and Lion Air have opened a number of new routes, connecting Bali to parts of Nusa Tenggara, namely Sumba and Sumbawa islands, as well as Lombok, while another brings central Borneo within easier reach of Surabaya.
Wings Air will fly ATR72-500 aircraft with a capacity of 72 passengers on these new routes:
The Semarang to Denpasar flight had previously existed, but with a stopover in Surabaya; the new schedule takes a direct route.
While Wings Air's big brother, Lion Air, is opening one new route utilising a Boeing 737-400:
Lion Air's General Director Edward Sirait says the purpose of opening new routes to Bali, Nusa Tenggara, and Kalimantan, apart from the usual business reasons, is to spur on economic development in those regions, and to increase the number of tourists visiting there, with the aim of strengthening the integrity of the unitary state of Indonesia. 
Apart from Wings Air flights to Sumba and Sumbawa can also be booked on Merpati and Transnusa, from Denpasar.
Those planning a visit to any of these areas can take advantage of the Mau Ke Mana flight booking service.
You mean “Merpati and Transnusa” in the penultimate paragraph there, not “Merpati and Merpati”, right…
Good news this…
Timdog, that’s exactly what I meant.
interesting found very nice pictures from Sumbawa, someone who had been there and can confirm that we go there, can be incredibly fantastic with both bath and coral reefs.
is it here the big mining companies are?
hans – of course you can go to Sumbawa. It is actually a very beautiful island with excellent but totally untapped tourism potential.
Most of the interior is made up of forested hills. The towns are generally scruffy and not particularly attractive. Bima – the biggest one – is a bit of a dump, as is Dompu, in the middle. Sumbawa Besar could be said to have a certain sleepy charm – if you visit in a very good mood…
But it is really the natural environment that you would go there for.
There are some really, really lovely beaches on the west and south coast.
One of the problems that Sumbawa suffers from when it comes to tourism is that many years ago so hurried guidebook researchers decided to write that “most people hurry through Sumbawa”, and thus, most people now hurry through Sumbawa en route for Lombok or Flores.
The only tourists who do stop are surfers heading for Hu’u or Maluk, and millionaires heading for Pulau Moyo…
There is however, potential for more. The Tambora Volcano makes a great trek, according to people who’ve done it (I haven’t), and there are some traditional villages in the hills not too far from Bima (though I can’t imagine they compare to villages in Sumba or parts of Flores).
The surf is fantastic though.
Hu’u south of Dompu (known to surfers as Lakeys) is a slightly odd place – a long way from anywhere, but crawling with blond Australians and Americans. There is a string of bungalow opperations along the beach. It used to be all pretty basic (and a bit grim in the wet season), but there’s some quite upmarket stuff there now.
At the other end of the island there’s great surf and very attractive beaches around Maluk. This is the area where there is indeed a big mining company at work. It’s a very strange place, and Maluk had a decidedly wild west feel when I went there. I hear the the mining opperation and its collection of oversized expats have now mostly disengaged altogether from the “native” town, and moved into a gated compound. I also heard that the mining opperation is also already moving into its final phase of productivity…
You don’t see any of the mining itself – it’s buried away deep in the hills away from prying eyes…
No departure from Jakarta?
Yes, there are direct flights from Jakarta to Mataram/Lombok.
For the other cities, no direct flights; but it is easy to transit in Bali.