Qantas to launch Melbourne-Jakarta flights

The new thrice-weekly flight will complement the airline’s daily service out of Sydney.

By Chris Ashton, February 2 2023
Qantas to launch Melbourne-Jakarta flights

Victorians looking to bounce their way across the islands of Indonesia will soon have a second connection to its capital, with Qantas revealing plans to fire up non-stop Melbourne to Jakarta flights in just over two months' time.

Jetting off three times a week from April 16, subject to approval, it will mark the airline’s third new international route from Melbourne since borders reopened, joining direct flights to Delhi and Dallas Fort Worth, respectively.

QF39 from Melbourne will see wheels up at 3:10pm every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, before touching down at Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta International at 7:15pm.

A flight time of just over 7 hours will give those seated in the roomy Airbus A330 lie-flat business class – the same found on the airline’s Sydney-Seoul service – a chance to stretch out and enjoy a few movies, before hitting the ground running in Jakarta that evening.

Following a quick turnaround, QF40 will then hop back to Melbourne those same three days at 9:00pm, arriving at 6:40am the following morning.

Home to more than 10 million people, central Jakarta is a constant hive of activity.
Home to more than 10 million people, central Jakarta is a constant hive of activity.

Although the route is a first for Qantas, it won’t be the only airline linking Melbourne and Jakarta, with Garuda Indonesia’s own flight GA717 already jetting off every Sunday and Thursday at 9:10am, and arriving at 12:15pm.

From a timing perspective, Garuda may have the slight advantage though, with its early afternoon arrival better-timed to avoid the city’s notoriously bad peak hour evening traffic.

Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David predicts the new service will be a big success, citing Victoria’s large expat community and the country’s rapidly growing economy.

“As one of Australia’s closest neighbours, these new flights will also help support the growing trade and investment links between our two countries,” David adds, while also thanking the Victorian Government and Melbourne Airport for their assistance on the new route.

Back in June 2022, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said almost the same thing about the airline’s Perth to Jakarta flights, which were scheduled to begin in November. However, due to operational constraints from Perth, those flights never left the ground.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1189

This new service is a welcome addition.  For us Melburnians, it will be a saving of about 4 hours each-way when flying Qantas.  It was always frustrating arriving into SYD on the way to Jakarta and realising you are actually further away from the destination than when you started.

There is no avoiding Jakarta traffic.  Our office was, until recently, about 75kms from CGK.  For an 8PM departure on QF42, I always left the office by 2PM.  My slowest time for the 75kms was over 4.5 hours!! 

I sometimes arrive into Jakarta from Singapore after 9PM and the traffic is still terrible.  The main culprits between the CBD and CGK are the toll booths.  Even though they are no longer manned, they are not the no slowing down e-Tag variety we have in Australia.  Old smoke belching trucks chugging along in every lane don't help either.

It once took me 3 hours to cover 30kms from my hotel to the airport, and that was with the taxi driver zipping through car parks and hotel driveways trying to get there quicker. The forecast earlier in the day was for rain that evening, so the hotel recommended we leave 2.5 hours earlier than previously planned. I'm glad we did! 

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1189

Yes, it often pays to make sure you have an empty bladder before you brave Jakarta traffic.

Malaysia Airlines - Enrich

21 Mar 2014

Total posts 23

Great news for the Victorians.

Wouldn't it be nice if Qantas thought Adelaide was worthy enough to offer at least ONE international connection !!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2016

Total posts 58

Qantas has realised that Garuda doesn't have the metal to add frequencies and jumping in.  Good to see and let's hope that Qantas keeps adding to this route across their network map.  Bring on Perth!

01 Dec 2012

Total posts 35

Bring on Perth indeed!

Such a pity that poor planning resulted in the PER-CGK service being cancelled before it started (and the PER-JNB route be suspended soon). Apparently the downside of Qantas’ own international terminal at PER is that arrival immigration and biosecurity facilities are inadequate for processing passengers from higher-risk ports. Why did Qantas not sort this with Home Affairs before trumpeting the new routes?

22 Jan 2019

Total posts 7

Because QF have generally assumed, even before privatisation, that 'one off' arrangements agreed to by government agencies magically become the norm and not the exception. Occasionally the agencies will stand their ground. Whether that is good or bad is a matter of opinion for each circumstance.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Mar 2020

Total posts 18

great move - also opens up connections to Europe from Jkt - Jkt as a stopover is not as silly as it seems, with the new metro, the city is starting to move...


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Nov 2018

Total posts 110

Fantastic news! Great not connecting in Sydney! 

Now If they could offer some competitive fares 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2016

Total posts 58

Challenge will be the lounge when you have both the Sydney and Melbourne flights overlap in terms of departure waiting.  Currently Qantas use a third party lounge and it is relatively at its limit with the one QF42.  Will Qantas longer term think about opening their own lounge ....... like they had in T1 many years ago!

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1189

I doubt they'd do their own lounge for 10 flights a week and even doing a Oneworld Lounge isn't really an alternative given both MH and CX don't really have a lot of flights at CGK.  Maybe the airlines should lobby Plaza Premium to increase the size of the current lounge which is, as you say, often full to overflowing in evenings.

The new CGK T3 doesn't appear to have been designed with extra lounges in mind.  The GA Lounge is on the mezzanine but there is no extra space there unless the foodcourt is moved out.  Even the Plaza Premium Lounge looks like it was an afterthought. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 42

FYI, I just flew QF CGK-SYD just about 2 weeks ago, and I was nicely surprised to learn that 3rd party lounge that Qantas used - Sapphire Lounge I believe - has been moved.

Now, the lounge is no longer towards the end of the airport (near Gate 5) but closer to the middle and it is no longer in like a 'pop up' style lounge that it used to be. I would say there is a lot more space and much nicer ambience and design. I thought I even saw luggage-storage compartments (I could be wrong). I think it is now a lounge worth visiting, but of course, don't expect First-lounge standard, and imo, still not as good as Finnair Business lounge.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2016

Total posts 150

On the flip side MEL-HKG direct is supposed to be stopping...

07 May 2015

Total posts 38

Says who? What's your 'source' for this? Please don't start spreading gossip and rumours on an widely read website like this unless you're prepared to back them up.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Oct 2012

Total posts 32

Maybe Qantas might re-instate the direct MEL - BKK route in the future.  Given Thai is now moving to 2 daily flights and Air Asia is starting up a direct route they might finally realise there is still demand for a Qantas flight instead of wasting hours going via Sydney or risking a flight with Jetstar with the dreaded last minute cancellation due to operational reasons.  

21 Jan 2018

Total posts 6

Yes you’re right about BKK.  Thai are flying twice daily in the morning and late at night.  With AirAsiaX currently with 3 weekly in the afternoon.  I hear the loads for XJ are very good. 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 531

Exactly. Qantas really needs to go back to serving MEL-BKK. Another alternative would be a thrice weekly Brisbane-BKK service, which is not currently being served by any airline as THAI has not yet announced whether it will fly to Brisbane again. Air Asia X, which served Brisbane for about a year before Covid decided to offer flights to Melbourne and Sydney instead of returning to Brisbane.

I also noticed Qantas were running regular flights, either for freight or repatriation purposes, during Covid between Perth and Bangkok. Why don't they re-instate regular commercial flights between the two cities? It seemed to work during Covid, with flights running until about mid-2022 from what I noticed on Flight Radar 24. 

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