As readers will know Indonesian airline Garuda is famed for schedule and route changes.
But the latest, one which is being made at very short notice, will affect all travellers flying to Indonesia either from or via Amsterdam Schiphol, Garuda’s main European gateway (it relies on KLM to feed it with passengers from the UK regions, mainland Europe and Scandinavia).
In short Garuda will cancel its main Amsterdam-Jakarta route and replace it with a new link between Amsterdam and Denpasar via Medan.
The news emerged today in Holland and was reported by Luchtvaart.nl.
Normally when a long-haul route is changed an airline will give months of notice. But in this case Garuda is giving notice of just a matter of days.
At the same time it will downgrade the B777-300ER which has been used for the Jakarta route to a smaller A330-300 which will operate nonstop between Amsterdam and Medan.
Dewar Kadek Rai, Garuda’s CEO for Europe, told Luchtvaart, “With this [schedule] adjustment we are convinced that we are better aligned with demand from the Netherlands and Europe. The travel time from Amsterdam to Denpasar will be one hour shorter.”
The route change means that Amsterdam-Jakarta will once again become a KLM monopoly (the last time was several years ago when Garuda was placed on the EU blacklist).
It also reveals that Garuda – which relaunched itself as a “five star carrier” several years ago but has since eliminated first class accommodation from almost all its fleet, is once again returning to the volume market.