Garuda Indonesia is now operating direct flights between Denpasar, Bali and London Heathrow in what is the latest change in the recent saga regarding its service between the UK capital and Jakarta.

As of January 22, Garuda’s existing Jakarta-London-Jakarta service has shifted to a Jakarta-London-Denpasar-Jakarta routing, giving the UK capital its first direct connection to the Indonesian holiday destination. Flights operate thrice weekly on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The shift follows the months-long confusion surrounding the airline’s direct London service, which has seen Garuda make various u-turns and adjustments to the operation after deciding to cease it back in October.

Unfortunately, the new routing hasn’t seen the immediate return of the airline’s first class offering to its London service, which had previously been available on the route up until it was temporarily dropped in October.

For the time being, Garuda will continue operating its dual-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to and from London, rather than one of its few remaining three-class 777-300ERs that feature its first class cabin.

However, starting July 5 first class will be coming back to Garuda’s London service – at least for a short time. The airline’s three-class 777-300ERs, at the moment deployed to Tokyo, will take over the London route for the summer months until September 15, Garuda Indonesia confirmed to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific.

First class fares between London and Denpasar are listed on Garuda’s official website and, at the time of writing, start from £4,941 (US$6,497) round trip including taxes and fees.

Garuda’s three-class setup for its 777-300ER includes eight first class seats laid out in two rows with a 1-2-1 layout, 38 business class seats also in a 1-2-1 configuration and 268 economy class seats laid out nine across (3-3-3).

Despite Garuda’s decision to axe its non-stop London flights late last year, traffic flow between the UK and Indonesia is on the rise.

Describing the new Denpasar routing as being part of the airline’s “ongoing commitment to strengthen its international network”, Garuda Indonesia CEO Ari Askhara noted that tourism arrivals from the UK have been positive.

“UK-Indonesia continues to show increasingly promising market growth, where the number of British tourist arrivals to Indonesia has increased significantly, especially through Bali as one of the leading tourism [destinations] in Indonesia,” said Askhara.

According to the airline, the UK comprises the fourth-largest contributor of tourist arrivals after China, Australia and India.