SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, has welcomed Garuda Indonesia as its 20th member and second airline from Southeast Asia. Garuda’s membership adds Jakarta as an alternative gateway to and from South East Asia, as well as 40 new destinations to SkyTeam’s global network served uniquely by the alliance. The airline was formally introduced into the grouping during a special ceremony in Bali last week.
“This is a historic and momentous event for Garuda Indonesia as we are now officially becoming the 20th member of SkyTeam. For these past three years, Garuda Indonesia has been actively forging cooperation with the other 19 member airlines with this objective in mind, and it has been an incredible journey,” said Emirsyah Satar, president and chief executive officer, Garuda Indonesia.
“Joining SkyTeam is part of Garuda Indonesia’s progressive transformation program throughout all aspects of the company. This milestone marks a momentous occasion in our airline’s 65-year history and we look forward to a future collaboration with our alliance partners. Garuda Indonesia is now able to offer customers global reach with a seamless and even more convenient travel experience, while at the same time establishing Indonesia firmly on the map of world-wide air travel,” he added.
Garuda currently flies to 64 destinations in 12 countries, including 40 domestic destinations. It will offer SkyTeam travellers easier access to Indonesia’s key business and tourism destinations, facilitated by Garuda’s partnerships with alliance members.
“Garuda’s entry into the alliance will give its customers access to SkyTeam’s 1,064 destinations, covering over 90 per cent of the most relevant traffic flows in the world. Garuda strengthens our presence throughout the Asia Pacific region for our 588 Million global passengers,” said Michael Wisbrun, SkyTeam’s Managing Director.
The airline boosts SkyTeam’s presence in Australia with service to Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney; and in Tokyo with flights to both Narita and Haneda airports. As part of the implementation of its strategic expansion program and to become a global player, Garuda continues to develop its network internationally.
It will increase its service to Europe this year with a new route between Jakarta and London’s Gatwick airport. This flight is due to start in May but sources have revealed that it may be delayed until September 2014 after already having been delayed from late last year. In addition, Garuda plans to open new services to Manila and Mumbai.
To support the network expansion, Garuda will welcome 27 aircraft to its fleet in 2014, consisting of two Boeing 777-300ERs, four Airbus A330s, 12 737-800s aircraft, three Bombardier CRJ regional jets, and six ATR 72-600 turboprops. Currently, Garuda operates 139 aircraft, and this is expected to grow to 194 aircraft by 2015.