Yep, you can get to Mentawai without a 3-4 hour ferry ride, and it won’t even cost you your spare kidney anymore. But there is one big problem for surfers looking to fly to Mentawai.
The new 1500 metre runway, constructed as part of the New Mentawai Airport Development has now been completed, providing a safe and suitable runway for airlines to land. While the government plans to encourage larger airlines like Wings Air, Citilink and others to fly their larger ATR aircraft to the islands, they are still in discussions and there are no confirmed routes yet.
Towards the end of last year though, Susi Air started operating a limited schedule between Padang and Rokot Airport Mentawai which is great news for people who don’t like long ferry rides.
So we jumped at the opportunity to check it out and work out all the details and here is what you need to know.
Currently there are two flights per week on Tuesday and Saturday.
Padang to Rokot – Departs 07:00am – Arrives 07:40am
Rokot to Padang – Departs 07:50am – Arrives 08.30am.
With only 10 minutes in Rokot, to land, unload passengers and their luggage, then load the new passengers with theirs, and take off again, you can almost certainly expect some delays on departure days. However this is no different to the ferry, and we always recommend giving buffer time if you are connecting to international flights from Padang or beyond.
However this time around it worked out ok, with our flight departing from Padang to Rokot departing and arriving on time.
It’s also worth noting that, if you want to fly you still need to spend a night in Padang, just as if you were catching the ferry. Because the plane departs Padang at 7 am, it is too early in the day for anyone arriving on flights from Bali, Jakarta, or Kuala Lumpur to make.
Why exactly Susi Air did this, we do not know, but we can’t help but feel like they miss out on a lot of people who would happily pay to fly directly to Mentawai on their arrival day and skip the overnight stay in Padang and ferry ride altogether.
But still, if ferries are not your thing, this is a great alternative.
Currently, tixcket price is Rp 1,4 million IDR (one way), or about 89 USD at the time of writing, and includes 10kg luggage free.
There is an additional fee of 30.000 IDR/kg for luggage over 10kg (a bit under 2 USD)
There are some government subsidies planned which are expected sometime in February or March which will hopefully mean the ticket costs are reduced further.
So price-wise, a fair bit more expensive than the ferry, but considerably quicker, with a flight time of only 40 minutes, while on the ferry we typically expect 3.5 hours. Which means more time surfing on arrival day!!
Which brings us to the question we know you are asking.
Can you fly with surfboards?
And here lies the catch. No 🤦♂️ You can’t.
The planes are small so large items are not permitted, meaning surfboards cannot be flown on Susi Air from Padang to Rokot Mentawai.
All passengers are allowed to carry their goods onto the aircraft in the form of one bag with a maximum size of 30cm x 15cm x 10cm and a maximum weight of 6 kg.
Susi Air says
“Goods, which in our view, are over in size or weight or unreasonably interferes with, will not be allowed to enter the Passenger cabin.”
You get 10 kg checked baggage included in your ticket price which goes in the box underneath the plane, and you will be charged 30,000 IDR per extra KG.
Surfboards, baby strollers, folding carts, pushchairs, folding wheelchairs, and golf bags cannot be carried.
How long is the flight?
The flight from Padang to Mentawai is 40 min and you get some epic views as you fly low along the coastline.
Once you arrive in Mentawai, a local driver will be waiting for you at the airport, he will help you with your luggage and transfer to your speedboat, which will be waiting near the end of the runway upon arrival.
It takes about 10 minutes to get from the airport arrivals to the waiting speedboat and then a 45-minute cruise along our tropical coastline to Villa Onu. In our opinion, landing in a plane while a speedboat waits for you at the end of the runway is a pretty slick way to arrive at your beachfront villa.
How to book your Padang to Mentawai flight?
The Susi Air website can be a bit of a nightmare to work, often not loading or accepting international cards. Therefore, if you would like to take advantage of this flight for your stay, we recommend you talk to our team, who can handle and make your booking locally. Contact us by email, WhatsApp or via the chat options on our site.
While it’s certainly not the perfect solution, it is a significant step in the right direction for air travel to Mentawai. The New Mentawai Airport is opening up new possibilities and we hope that this new flight from Susi Air will continue to develop and improve.
With the subsidies and support from local government, we expect more airlines to step in and offer more options for flights over the coming year.
But until then. If you are travelling without surfboards, or a family heading over to see us and don’t fancy a 3.5-hour ferry ride with the kids, Susi Air might just be what you were looking for.
Let us know if you would like more information and help booking 🙂