Indonesian national carrier Garuda resumed on December 12 a direct service between Indonesia and India, linking Jakarta to Munbai via Bangkok. However route’s monopoly will be short-lived as other Indonesian airlines plan to enter the India-Indonesia market by launching new routes by next year.
Mumbai serves as the airline’s first gateway in the region, and is served by the Indonesian air carrier the three times weekly service to Mumbai, Garuda Indonesia is now able to provide the first direct link between Indonesia and India. The opening of Garuda Indonesia’s flight to Mumbai is part of its international network development program, especially in the South Asia region, as well as the manifestation of the airline’s strong commitment to continuously support the Indonesian government’s program to double the number of international tourists visiting the country by 2019.
President and CEO of Garuda Indonesia, M. Arif Wibowo commented, “We are very pleased to be able to add Mumbai to our extensive global network. There are strong economic partnerships as well as numerous social, cultural, and tourism relations between Indonesia and India, and we believe this new service will further boost those activities amongst the two countries, whilst offering easier access for travelers between India and Indonesia.” ‘
Indonesia is currently one of the most promising tourism market for the airline as Indian travellers are likely to top over 350,000 arrivals this year, both for business and leisure purposes. This new direct route will not only boost the economic activities between the two countries, but also help towards meeting the Indonesian government’s target to increase inbound tourism to Indonesia from India.
Garuda Indonesia serves the Jakarta-Mumbai route via Bangkok route every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Garuda Indonesia’s Mumbai-bound service will be operated with a new Boeing 737-8 aircraft with a two-class cabin configuration (Business and Economy Class) offering a total capacity of 156 passengers (12 Business Class seats and 144 Economy Class seats).
But competition is already in the starting block to launch as well flights from and to India. On December 8, Lion Air Group CEO Edward Sirait announced that hybrid subsidiary Batik Air was on the verge to open flights to India by the third week of December. The carrier is due to fly directly on a daily basis to Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai from Jakarta CGK. “We will use Airbus 320 aircraft to fly to India,” Edward said. However so far, Lion Air/Batik Air website does not show any non-stop service for the mentioned routes but only possibilities to reach India via Kuala Lumpur. The airline could easily launch services from Denpasar, Bali, which is one of the most requested destinations for Indian tourists to the country.
AirAsia Indonesia, the local arm of Southeast Asia’s largest budget airline group AirAsia, is also weighing up options to open up new international routes to Japan and India in 2017…