Garuda Indonesia U-Turn over London

Indonesia, air transport, Garuda Indonesia, Europe

After announcing to suspend its second European route to London, Garuda finally resumed this week its non stop flight from Jakarta, probably bowing to government’s pressure. 

The information had already circulated early November during a conference when Garuda Indonesia president director I Gusti Ngurah Askhara indicated that the airline would reopen its Jakarta-London route after reviewing its costs.  “We will revive the route after seeing that the market is growing. But we [need to] review its costs,” was assuring Askhara in Denpasar as reported by Antara news agency.

On October 30, Garuda Indonesia stopped its Jakarta-London route because of a low seat occupancy rate, as it fluctuated between 60 and 70 percent. However, according to the new president, Indonesia is recently experiencing growing number of tourists from the UK wishing to travel to Indonesia, and particularly to Bali. The Indonesian carrier could then also consider to shift the air route from London Heathrow to Denpasar instead of Jakarta, although the yield might be lower as such a flight would be unlikely to attract high yield business travellers.

It is possible that the carrier experienced some pressure from the government to reinstate the London route as it represents an important link for the Indonesian carrier which reduced sharply its presence in Europe on the last two decades, closing popular routes such as Frankfurt, Paris and Rome.

Finally, after mulling out a return to London by the end of November, Garuda Indonesia resumes the route on December 13. The carrier flies three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with a two-class Boeing 777-300ER.

In another development, the Indonesian carrier launched in early December a new route linking Singapore to Bandung, offering four weekly frequencies (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) in a Boeing 737-800NG with 150 seats in economy class and 12 in business class. It just also announced to link Medan Kuala Namu International Airport with Pekanbaru in Riau province. Starting January 12, the route will be served four times a week, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Last but not least, Garuda Indonesia is also planning to launch a new route to Japan from March 23,2019. Indonesia national carrier will connect four times a week Jakarta with Nagoya with an Airbus A330 offering business and economy seats.