Some years ago Garuda Indonesia returned to Europe (following its removal from the EU blacklist) with ambitious plans.
However Indonesia’s national airline found its former market had long gone. In its absence most travellers to Indonesia had been snapped up by the Gulf airlines.
Hence Garuda found only two routes worthwhile: Amsterdam and London. And those two routes have been disrupted during the pandemic.
Now, in what appears to be a case of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them,’ Garuda wants to codeshare with Emirates.
The deal would enable Garuda to offer its customers global access via Dubai. This is important because heavily-indebted Garuda has just a few aircraft capable of long-haul operation.
If these codeshares obtain regulatory approval then they would commence in early January 2022.
The full list of destinations in Europe has not yet been revealed. But in the case of the UK two destinations are sought: London and Manchester.
The latter is significant. It will be the first time Garuda has served the Northwest, and Manchester airport boasts a huge catchment area reaching as far north as Scotland and as far south as Birmingham.
Irfan Setiaputra, president and CEO of Garuda, said:
“This partnership is timely as countries are expected to start to reopen their borders for international flights and to ease travel restrictions.”
Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ CCO, added:
“We are pleased to forge a code-share partnership with Garuda to provide our customers with access to additional destinations in Indonesia which is an important market for Emirates.”