Review: TransNusa A320neo Economy (CGK-DPS)

Notice: This plane is no longer in operation with TransNusa and has been transferred to Uzbekistan Airways as of 1 September 2023. Please click here to read our review of TransNusa’s regular A320 product.

Jyaga loves (5/5)

TransNusa flight detail

Airline : TransNusa Aviation
Flight No : 8B5106
Departure City : Jakarta (CGK)
Arrival City : Denpasar (DPS)
Equipment : A320neo (PK-TLA)
Blocked Time : 1h45m
Seat No: 1A

Airline Background

TransNusa is an Indonesian low-cost carrier (LCC) based out of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport that operates a fleet of used A320 aircraft. The airline used to operate an island-hopper network between regional and rural airports within the country using ATR aircraft; however, that business plan was abandoned following the airline’s temporary suspension of service in 2020. It was relaunched in 2022 as a Hong Kong-backed LCC and will be the first non-Chinese airline to fly COMAC aircraft(!)

Booking TransNusa

TransNusa had long been an airline I was curious to try, having seen their now-retired props many times in Bali (DPS). When the airline relaunched late into 2022, I jumped on the opportunity to try flying them one of my regular Jakarta – Bali hops. For this flight, I paid ~IDR700,000, which was amongst the cheapest flights available between the two cities. This price slightly undercuts another new LCC, Super Air Jet. For IDR110,000, I booked a front-row ‘PRO’ seat, which came with priority boarding. I also added a hot meal option for an incredible IDR49,000, putting the total at IDR859,000 – less than half the cost of a similar flight on the flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia.

I booked this flight in particular, as I had my eyes set on one specific aircraft they operate, an Airbus A320neo registered as PK-TLA. This specific plane was at one point operated by the now-defunct SaudiGulf Airlines; up to this point it is the newest and most comfortable in the fleet. I’ve heard great things about the plane and was looking forward to try it out! In case you’d like to try it out for yourself, ensure to book a flight with a configuration of 168Y. You can view this by clicking on the flight information button on the flight list on the airline’s website.

Booking on

TransNusa RoyalSkies Frequent Flyer

The airline seems to operate (or at least is planning) some sort of a loyalty scheme, purportedly under the name of ‘RoyalSkies’. There is an option to sign up, and afterwards you could even log into your profile to see a list of the flights you’ve taken… although there is no clear indication of what sort of reward scheme the airline offers (if there is one). In any case, this was more akin to an airline passenger profile than an active reward programme.

TransNusa Check-in

I arrived at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport at 08.00 for this 09.30 departure, since Indonesia has effectively removed all pandemic-related preflight requirements. TransNusa operates from the cavernous Terminal 3, also shared with state-owned airlines like Garuda Indonesia, Citilink, and Pelita Air, as well as all foreign airlines. Even though the terminal is the newest among the three in the airport, it isn’t very pleasant; it is characterised by long walks, poor lighting, and many dysfunctions.

The airline’s check-in desks are at Island E, next to that of Pelita Air and just behind that of Garuda Indonesia. There were no lines for the desks, so the check-in process was quick and smooth. Upon receiving my boarding pass, I proceeded straight to the security checkpoint, which did have a winding, though quickly moving queue. Priority security isn’t afforded by anyone except Business Class and SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers on Garuda Indonesia.

TransNusa Check-in Desks at CGK

There frankly isn’t much to do airside in Terminal 3. There are a handful of shops and several convenience stores and cafés, none of which piqued my curiosity. Since I didn’t have access to a lounge, I decided to sit at an empty gate before moving to the flight’s gate. Interestingly, there were some birds flying around near the gates. Perhaps they were trying to get away from the heat outside too!

Birds in the terminal!
Soekarno-Hatta International Airport – a proud SkyTrax 3-Star Airport (hah!)


At T-15 minutes to boarding, I walked to the flight’s gate at the far end of the terminal, where TransNusa’s operations are consolidated. The boarding time pretty much came and went, without much information from the ground staff. The aircraft operating the flight arrived late from Yogyakarta and only arrived at the gate soon after the printed boarding time. Sure enough, and to my relief, it was PK-TLA that pulled into the gate.

After tracking this flight on FlightRadar24, it does appear that TransNusa consistently run flights late, probably due to minimal schedule padding on their part. Boarding started 10 minutes later, following a very quick turnaround in true LCC fashion. Boarding started with passengers with young children and was followed by those booked into front-row seats (best £6 spent or what?). All other passengers boarded back-to-front.

PK-TLA pulling into the gate

TransNusa A320neo Cabin and Seats

The cabin is equipped in a 3-3 all-Economy configuration featuring a spacious 168 seats, unusual for a low-cost airline. This after all is a remnant of the plane’s previous operator. Since TransNusa has a further 29 Airbus A320neos to be delivered (presumably also second-hand), I sure hope they come with the same or similar cabins! The airline had done little to change the cabin (for the better), and all seats were precisely the ones inherit from SaudiGulf. In fact, you’d still see SaudiGulf’s golden logo stitched onto the plush seats.

That said, TransNusa did a good job transforming the cabin into its own, with the airline’s logo visibly embossed onto the headrests and on the leather layer that covered the unused personal television screens from the previous operator. Each seat also features a headrest, setting the airline apart from every other low-cost rival. Apart from that, the cabin is pretty much no-frills, as expected. Note that the airline also does not offer inflight entertainment (unlike rival Pelita Air).

TransNusa A320neo Cabin
TransNusa A320neo cabin
TransNusa A320neo bulkhead seats (notice the covered television screens)

Being seated in row one, it is no surprise that the legroom is great. However, after being seated in row two on a separate flight, I’m pleased to report that legroom is similarly excellent. Even at 180 cm (5′ 11), there was still room to spare on my knees. This is better than the legroom on Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 737-800s, and at less than half the price too! Incredible!!

Legroom on TransNusa A320neo (Indonesia’s most spacious domestic economy class or what?!)

Departure from Jakarta

Boarding was completed after around 15 minutes, meaning that we might actually land on time. While the main part of the cabin was more or less full, the first several rows were sparsely occupied. As a result, I had a row to myself, as did every passenger in the PRO seats section. Woohoo!

Hi Garuda Indonesia!

Soon after, the captain made a clear and crisp inflight announcement in English and Bahasa Indonesia. This really impressed me, given how garbled inflight announcements tend to be in Indonesia. While pushed back immediately, we ended up with a 20-minute tarmac delay while queueing for takeoff. We were at the front, yet I must have seen five other planes landing before we even made it onto the runway.

TransNusa Inflight Service

The inflight service began around 20 minutes after takeoff. As expected from a low-cost carrier, everything offered was up for purchase. Since I had prebooked a hot meal, I received it first before the friendly flight attendants rolled the cart down the aisle. The passenger in the adjacent row ended up purchasing a few snacks, which made sense, given how quite reasonably priced the food items were.

For reference, below is the inflight sales menu:

TransNusa Inflight Sales Menu
TransNusa Inflight Sales Menu

In addition, there was also a prayer card, which is not uncommon in Indonesia:

TransNusa Prayer Card

TransNusa Prebooked Meal

During my flight booking, I ordered the ‘Woku Fish Meal’ which isn’t available for purchase on board. It came with a complimentary bottle of water, which would’ve cost IDR10,000 otherwise. For something that costs less than £3, I was very happy with what I got. The fish was cooked in a traditional Indonesian sauce and was thus rich in flavour. It tasted very good! I liked it so much that I craved another, which thankfully isn’t available. What a satisfying breakfast!

TransNusa Inflight Meal – Woku Fish

Arrival in Bali

After finishing my meal, I took out a book to read, since there wasn’t any inflight entertainment available. The cabin crew through the cabin around 30 minutes before landing to collect any trash, at which point we also started our descent. 20 minutes later, the seatbelt lights switched on and the cabin was prepared for landing. We landed from the east, which meant getting beautiful views of Nusa Penida island and viewing the Nusa Dua peninsula as we landed.

View of Nusa Penida Island
Nusa Dua Peninsula and Benoa Bay

We touched down at 12:32 with a smooth landing, 16 minutes after our scheduled arrival time. The captain thanked us for flying TransNusa, but interestingly didn’t mention anything about the slightly late arrival. It was a quick 2-minute taxi to the gate, where we parked next to a cool Garuda Indonesia retro 737. It wasn’t another 5 minutes before everyone stood up to collect their cabin baggage and disembarked.

Garuda Indonesia Retro Boeing 737 (when will I fly on this beauty?!)


So how was flying TransNusa from Jakarta to Bali? In two words: near flawless. Except for the short delay in boarding and the slightly late arrival, everything about the flight was great. I found the seats to be very comfortable, which had great legroom by the way! The meal I prebooked was cheap and delicious, and the crew was friendly and professional. I might dare say that this is all-round the best way to get between Jakarta and Bali in Economy… well assuming that you fly on their Airbus A320neo.

I definitely wouldn’t hesitate at all to fly TransNusa again in the future. High marks all round!

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