Balikpapan is reachable by land from within Kalimantan island, though it is a rare thing to see people travelling from south or west Kalimantan by land. The city is also well connected by sea and air from both within Indonesia and other countries.
There is only one airport in the city called Sepinggan International Airport, which also serves domestic flights. It is located at approximately 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) to the east of downtown Balikpapan. This airport is also part of the other 14 Indonesian airports providing visa on arrival facility.
The airport has two arrival gates (one international and one domestic) but just one gate for departures. International and domestic passengers enter via the same departure hall.
A passenger service charge (airport tax) will be charged at the airport. It costs Rp. 40,000 for passengers travelling on domestic flight and Rp. 100,000 for international flights (to be paid at the checking counter at the airport by all travelers aged above 2 years old).
International Direct Flights
|Kuala Lumpur||Air Asia||Wed, Fri, Sun|
Currently there is only one airline flying regularly between Singapore-Balikpapan (a code share flight between Garuda Indonesia and Silk Air), which is about 2 hour 25 minutes away, on a jet airplane (Airbus A320). As a reference if you buy tickets well in advance, the all-inclusive-published return air fare from Singapore is approximately US$ 580.
For the latest promotional fares please check with the respective airlines.
Domestic Direct Flights
Lion Air/Wings Air
Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat
Lion Air/Wings Air
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat
Lion Air/Wings Air
|Ambon||Lion Air/Wings Air||Daily|
|Biak (via Surabaya)||Merpati Air||Fri,Sun|
|Luwuk (via Surabaya)||Merpati Air||Daily|
Mostly domestic airlines, such as Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Merpati, Sriwijaya Air or Citilink, fly Boeing 737 jet airplane to Balikpapan, only Batavia fly Airbus A320. Wing Air has jet airplanes MD 82, while Kal Star and Trigana Airlines are both flying the turboprop ATR 42.
Based on commercial jet airplanes, flying time from Jakarta-Balikpapan takes about 2 hours, Balikpapan-Surabaya is about 1 hour 25 minutes and from Balikpapan-Manado is about 1 hour 35 minutes.
Note: although the airline schedules above are checked monthly, they can be changed at the last minute. Please check with the respective airlines for any daily changes.
Getting In and Out Of The Airport
There are two options of transportation that connect the airport and downtown Balikpapan. The most convenient method is by taxi (it costs approximately Rp. 45,000).
“Kokapura” is the official taxi company to get out of the airport. The fare is officially fixed, based on your destination. There two fares: one is called "Ring I Route" and covers the city center and from the airport to Jalan Sudirman or "Kodam" (cost: Rp. 45,000) and the other route is called “Ring II Route" and covers the airport to "Kampung Baru" or Jalan Minyak (cost: Rp. 60,000).
This taxi fare is paid at the Kokapura counter (besides the domestic arrival exit door) or you can approach one of its staff to take you there. They can be identified from the ID card hanging on their neck. Mr. Yori, one of the Kokapura staff at the airport, can be contacted for further information at +62 542 56782947. He speaks Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian Language) and a little English.
There are other taxi companies, which operate by meters (or known as "argometer" in Indonesia) from the airport, such as “Globalindo”, “Borneo”, “Mawar” and “Kalung Mas”. Their cost is similar to Kokapura's and many locals and expats use their services too.
Another option to reach the town or the airport from town is by public transport, "mikrolet". If you decide to take a mikrolet, grab the number 7 "dark green" one, which departs from "Damai" terminal in downtown Balikpapan. You need to walk to the airport terminal from the main road and vice versa (less than 200 meters/yards). It costs only Rp. 3,000, however, if you have big luggages, then you might face difficulties if you decide to take a mikrolet. Normally it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to reach the city center by mikrolet.
See Within Balikpapan for details on mikrolets.
There were bus services to and from the airport. Today, visitors can only see the "Bus" signboard without seeing any public bus there.