Garuda Indonesia Eyes US and Additional European Routes by 2014
Indonesia’s national carrier Garuda Indonesia plans to start serving US routes by the end of 2014, a Transportation Ministry source said.
The national carrier has made strides in its safety record in recent years, Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang S. Ervan said. Garuda Indonesia is expected to be allowed to fly in US airspace once the ban on all Indonesian airlines is lifted.
The ministry expects Indonesian airlines to climb from the US Federal Aviation Administration’s category two (banned) to category one (safe) by 2014.
“Garuda is ready to fly to the US with new airplanes that will arrive in 2014,” Bambang said.
Garuda president director Emirsyah Satar confirmed Garuda’s plan to fly to the US, with Los Angeles to be the first city it would fly to.
He said flying to the US would be part of Garuda’s Quantum Leap program, where the airline is targeting to increase its fleet from the current 94 planes to 244 units by the end of 2015.
Garuda spokesman Pujobroto told The Jakarta Globe that not only was Garuda targeting US routes, it also hopes to open more flights to Europe — Garuda currently has one route to Amsterdam.
“In the long run, Garuda will also fly to London, Paris, Frankfurt and Rome or Milan,” Pujobroto said. “The development of the routes/flights will be in line with the arrival of planes that will serve long flights, namely B 777-300 ER, although it will also depend on the global economic situation, especially in Europe and America,” he added.
Emirsyah had earlier said that Garuda expected to boost the number of its passengers from last year’s 17.1 million to 45.4 million by 2015, including 16.4 million forecasted to fly with Garuda’s subsidiary, low-budget carrier Citilink.
[The Jakarta Globe erroneously reprinted an error made by Bisnis
Indonesia in the original version of this story. Garuda Indonesia
expects to begin flights to the United States by 2014, not 2015. We
regret the error.]