A few days ago we reported that Garuda would, after all,  retain first class from its London-Jakarta B777-300E services.

However now comes news from Holland’s luchtvaartnieuws.nl  that Garuda will, for the peak summer months only, remove first class from a number of flights operating between Amsterdam, Jakarta and vice versa.

Garuda is taking this decision so that it can boost seat capacity during the summer season.

Removing first class enables Garuda to enlarge the economy class zone with 99 seats to give a total capacity of 367 passengers.

Its economy configuration retains the more spacious nine-across (3-3-3) layout.

I say “more spacious” because most operators of the B777-300ER have either already adopted a tighter 10-across (3-4-3) layout or are poised to do so.

The two-class B777-300ER will also accommodate 26 fully flat bed business class seats.

When Business Traveller checked on Thursday, Garuda’s website was still displaying first class availability on all its Amsterdam-Jakarta services.

But we have now been reliably informed that the retrofitted two-class flights will operate from Amsterdam on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. And this means that the inbound Jakarta-Amsterdam two-class flights will operate the previous evening on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

To avoid disappointment readers wishing to book first class or who wish to specify a certain seat are advised to check with Garuda or their travel agent at the time of booking.

Amsterdam is Garuda’s European HQ and its most important gateway outside Asia. Historically Garuda and Dutch airline KLM have maintained a close relationship. Both are Skyteam members.

Because of Amsterdam’s hub status (and the fact that a number of European carriers no longer serve Jakarta) many travellers throughout Europe, Scandinavia and so on find it easier to access Jakarta via Amsterdam than via their own national hub airports.

Take the UK regions as a prime example. Garuda only departs London Heathrow. It is easier to reach one terminal Amsterdam with a multitude of KLM connections than it is to reach Heathrow using British Airways limited domestic network followed by a change of terminal.