It emerged during Routes Asia in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia last week that after twice delaying the launch of a proposed non-stop link between Jakarta and London, new SkyTeam entrant, Garuda Indonesia will now serve the UK capital on a one-stop strategy from September 2014.
In a major change to its planned European schedule, Garuda Indonesia will switch its existing Jakarta – Abu Dhabi – Amsterdam route to a non-stop operation from May 30, 2014, flying on a five times weekly basis. From September 7, 2014 this route will be extended to London Gatwick, fulfilling the carrier’s ambition to resume flights to the UK. The network changes were officially displayed in the GDS from March 17, 2014.
“Following Garuda’s official joining of SkyTeam, the opportunities presented by the established SkyTeam hub at Amsterdam are too significant to pass up, as it will be an alternative gateway for passengers who wish to travel beyond Europe. They will be able to choose from 1,064 destinations in 178 countries served by SkyTeam member airlines,” explained Emirsyah Satar, president and chief executive, Garuda Indonesia.
“We will introduce flights to London in October, maybe faster in September”
“We will introduce flights to London in October, maybe faster in September”Andyanto Pramono, Senior Network Management Analyst
The airline had originally planned to launch non-stop flights between Jakarta and London from November 2, 2013 using its new Boeing 777-300ERs. However, in August last year it put the launch date back to May 2014 due, it said, to limited runway capacity at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. It emerged in the past couple of weeks that the carrier had once again delayed the proposed launch date.
“We will introduce flights to London in October, maybe faster in September,” Andyanto Pramono, senior network management analyst, Garuda Indonesia told The HUB Daily on the sidelines of Routes Asia.
The planned resumption of flights to London was a major part of the airline's Quantum Leap 2011-2015 programme to develop its international network and become a ‘global player’ and support its entry into the SkyTeam alliance, which took place earlier this month. It follows its successful reintroduction of flights to Amsterdam in June 2010, albeit with a technical stop in the United Arab Emirates (this was previously Dubai but a new marketing partnership with Etihad Airways has seen the flight switched to Abu Dhabi to enhance synergies with its partner carrier).
You can find out more about the airline’s development plans in the below video interview with Andyanto Pramono from Routes Asia, in which he highlights how the opening of new hubs across Indonesia will support the carrier’s growth ambitions.