Labuan Bajo is now connected to Sulawesi by air
The long awaited route Labuan Bajo (LBJ) to Makassar (UPG) in South Sulawesi has been recently started to operate by TransNusa. Makassar is not only a popular destination for tourists because it is the starting point for a journey to the famous area of Tanah Toraja. No, also many locals from Flores have to travel each month to Makassar either for work, study or visit friends and families. In the past it was only possible twice a month by a Pelni passenger ferry or by plane via Bali.
The fares on the new route are reasonable. At the moment the plane departs late afternoon at 17:45 in Labuan Bajo so that one arrives in Makassar around 18:50. Travelers now can travel on the new beaten path starting in Bali or Lombok/Gili via Komodo and Flores to Makassar and further on to Tanah Toraja without making a detour back to Bali from Flores.
Makassar is also an important hub for flights to the further eastern islands as Maluku with its capital Ambon, the Banda and Key Islands and Papua with its main destinations Sorong, Raja Ampat, Biak, Jayapura, Timika and Merauke.