Flying On The World’s Shortest Airbus A320 Flight

Back in September 2019 whilst traveling around Indonesia I had the opportunity to fly on one of the world’s shortest Airbus A320 flights from Bali to Lombok. The flight was operated by Air Asia with the flight number QZ430 and took just 21 minutes.

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An Air Asia A320 (File photo). Photo: Kentaro IEMOTO via Flickr

The route

The distance between Ngurah Rai International Airport (Bali) and Lombok International Airport Praya is just 76 miles.

While the flight only takes 15-25 minutes on average, taking a boat the same distance can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours. So when you factor in waiting at the airport either end, it still works out quicker taking a plane.

*Note: this is one of the world’s shortest A320 flights. There are a few others that fly very similar distances.

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Airlines obviously know it’s quicker to fly, so there is a lot of competition on this super short route. In total four airlines operate over 70+ flights a week in either direction.

  • Indonesia Air Asia (Operated by Airbus A320 Aircraft)
  • Lion Air (Operated by Boeing 737 Aircraft)
  • Garuda Indonesia (Operated by ATR 72 & Boeing 737 Aircraft)
  • Wings Abadi Airlines (Owned by Lion Air) (Operated by ATR 72 Aircraft)
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A Wings Abadi AirlinesAir ATR 72. Photo: Paul Spijkers via Wikimedia

Booking the flight

Out of the four airlines who fly the route, I opted for Air Asia. At the time of booking, they were my preferred choice having flown extensively in Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong with the carrier and they were also the cheapest.

Round trip prices between Bali & Lombok with Air Asia start from as little as $28 USD!

Note: If you want to select seats and add baggage there will be additional fees.

In the end, I paid $80 USD return as I booked a totally flexible ticket as I wasn’t sure how long I wanted to spend in Bali vs Lombok. The $80 USD ticket price included:

  • 25kg baggage
  • Free seat selection (I sat in row 1)
  • Meal service + a drink (more on this later)
  • Priority check-in

The experience on the ground:

I read lots of negative things about Bali Ngurah Rai‘s domestic terminal before visiting. Overall I was pleasantly surprised.

The check-in/bag drop was painless and there were no ques. Though, that was because we had a ‘premium flex ticket’ with priority check-in. Even without this, I don’t think you would be waiting for more than five minutes.

Security took all of two minutes, and once through there was an array of restaurants and shops and it has a similar feeling to the international terminal but on a much smaller scale. At the terminal, you certainly won’t struggle to get a seat to relax or go hungry.

Onboard

Boarding was easy and took less than 10 minutes. The flight was full.

The legroom on row 1 was great! I had plenty of room to stretch out (for all of 20 minutes) and there was a handy pocket in front of me big enough to store a water bottle.

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Air Asia A320 Legroom. Row 1. Photo: Simple Flying
  • After a short taxi and quick take off, the flight hit its cruising altitude of 7075ft within 4 minutes!
  • After a total of 10 minutes in the air, we began our descent into Lombok.
  • 11 minutes later we had landed in Lombok, and we’re at the gate.
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Air Asia QZ430 Route. Photo: Flight Radar 24

The food

A lot of people on our flight seemed to have booked a premium flex ticket. This meant that they were entitled to a main meal and drink (which could be pre-selected online). I opted for a Thai basil chicken and it was heated and given me to whilst boarding in a takeaway bag.

Overall the service and the crew on board were great. No qualms; I don’t think you can get much wrong on a 20-minute flight. There was literally no time to eat on the flight, so I ended up eating the plane food once arriving in Lombok!

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Overall thoughts

This quick flight was a great way to get to Lombok quickly and saved a rough 2-5 hour sea crossing (I hate boats). It was funny how there was no time for food, I’ve never had a meal given to me before even taking off.

Have you flown on this route? What was your experience?

Read Next: Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 Business Review – Singapore To Bali

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