Garuda… Back into London again?!!

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This topic contains 37 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  MarcusGB 13 Dec 2018
at 22:03
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 38 total)

  • MarcusGB
    Participant

    I heard in departing with Garuda some weeks ago to Australia, that “We are negotiating to return”, from staff at LHR, after cancelling flights within a few weeks.

    I was searching for flights into Next year end Jan / Feb 2019 and they seem to be back.
    Schedules out of LHR – Tues, Thurs, Sat eve departures as before, coming up on Ebookers, also on Their own site?!! They no longer are featuring First Class…

    Seems rather precarious to make a booking with them, but they were excellent LHR- Jakarta on board, and truly unbeatable fares towards Australia. One of the few Decent Skyteam options towards Australia, But It is quite a mess this stop /start lack of reliability and consistency, and many cancelled itineraries for so many recently.
    Alex / BT- any inside information or official info from Garuda, or anyone with any insight?

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Mystery surrounds Garuda and its London plans.

    I too saw the news from Airline Route but I hesitated to write anything because I know from experience that this airline is apt to change its mind.

    Now today the media in Indonesia is talking about Garuda resuming its Jakarta-London service on, wait for it, November 15 … which is only *five days* away.

    Garuda’s MD is quoted as saying “We turn it on again because I see the market has grown.”

    http://www.beritasatu.com/bisnis/521641-garuda-buka-rute-jakartalondonbali.html

    https://www.inews.id/finance/bisnis/belum-lama-ditutup-garuda-indonesia-kembali-buka-rute-jakarta-london/328778

    The airline is now talking about flying Jakkarta-Singapore-London (as it was doing previously because of Jakarta’s weak runway) but returning London-Denpasar (Bali).

    But if Garuda were to start flying London-Denpasar (either non-stop or via Jakarta) it will continue to face intense competition from the Gulf airlines and Asian carriers such as SIA. The latter is known as Indonesia’s unofficial national airline judging by the number of services it operates between Singapore and Indonesia as a whole.

    Here’s the previous BTUK news piece re Garuda ceasing its London route. There was confusion during August when the airline changed its plans several times. One need only see the reader comments at the end to see what I mean.

    Garuda to “reprieve” London route


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Thanks both for those links.
    Analysis-

    I travelled on a one way (with stopover days in Jakarta) to Sydney in early October.
    The flight was way overbooked, with people having brought forward flights, due to the route being cancelled. The call centre in London was overrun with calls, and any changes they asked YOU to call Them IN Jakarta by recorded message, to change yr flight!!!
    ===========================
    I was pleased not to have a return flight.

    Previously, i had to travel on a “changed for one day” slot into LHR at 8am from CGK- LHR, where the aircraft was ONLY stated as travelling to Singapore. I flew from Sydney the day before, so this meant getting up at 4.30am from my hotel near CGK Airport. All had to get off in Singapore for 2 hours, and much of the aircraft was taken up with passengers to SIN, but not onto London!
    The CGK Runway Being unable to support the Aircraft directly to London, as i have flown doing just this on another trip, appear utterly false.

    The flights on to Sydney are not every day, and seem less into 2019, unless you take a 3rd flight onto Denpasar. Flights into Jakarta from Sydney, arrive around 16hrs, and the flights back to London depart 12.30pm!
    KLM already fly AMS either via SIN to DPS, or KUL-Jakarta, and SQ also as you mention Alex from LHR-SIN and on.

    How can Garuda gain any custom again, unless they fly Non stop to Jakarta? Their “Kangaroo Route” is in tatters as it stands, with no direct connections either way on each of the 3 days either. U have to enter Indonesia and stay at least one if not several nights in Jakarta, or via DPS.

    Garuda is making an absolute mess of this route, and I am sure the staffing in the UK is all over the place, employed- not- then re-hired?! They remain up to their reputation as excellent in the air, but Organisationally unpredictable, impulsive, chaotic and result in unreliable on the ground. When you make a booking with them, you will have several time changes also for all flights prior to travel. So how can you make Australia trips with them, when accommodations or stopovers can change, but are pre-paid already? I am really not sure if you would even be covered for your other expenses paid, if the Airline make changes, with travel insurances?

    Perhaps this is why they sell a 1 way Business fare from only £1,050 LHR-CGK-SYD!
    NOT a 5* Skytrax Airline any longer Garuda, and your First Class 2 x 773’s also now removed, confined to History!
    Perhaps better to stay out and away from Europe, if you cannot sustain services in a reasonable manner, as other Airlines.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    paulkaz
    Participant

    MarcusGB no doubt GA s slot at LHR limits good connections onto SYD remembering also that SYD is curfew closed from 11 to 6 am. The domestic politics of having the premier LHR route returning to DPS rather than CGK would be unacceptable.Useful to remember that Jakarta rules the other provinces( all with different local languages and cultures) so the optics is important.
    QF and KL will code share to AMS so that gives you a skyteam option of sorts. Bit of a milk run though if you go through CGK ( instead of SIN, BKK , or HKG) SYD, CGK, KUL or SIN,AMS,LHR. Memories of the 70s.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Given the demonstrably very low standards which seem to prevail generally in Indonesian aviation I’m surprised that they are allowed to fly into the EU at all.

    Whoever lifted the ban made a big mistake!


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    The CGK Runway Being unable to support the Aircraft directly to London, as i have flown doing just this on another trip, appear utterly false.

    Marcus – The issue is with the B777-300ER’s landing gear which, unlike that of the A380, doesn’t offer the same degree of weight distribution.

    Only a few non-stop flights to Europe are allowed so as not to damage CGK’s runway. These can either be to AMS or LHR. That is why, now that the LHR route is cancelled. all the CGK-AMS flights not operate non-stop.

    NOT a 5* Skytrax Airline any longer Garuda, and your First Class 2 x 773’s also now removed, confined to History!

    Now that Garuda has removed F class will it lose its 5* Skytrax rating ?

    In any case it was hopelessly uneconomic for Garuda to have retained F class for London route services. Imagine the cost of retaining F class catering and inventory. (Amsterdam went two-class last year – see below).

    So how can you make Australia trips with them, when accommodations or stopovers can change, but are pre-paid already? I am really not sure if you would even be covered for your other expenses paid, if the Airline make changes, with travel insurances?

    As I have said many times before … airlines can and do change their schedules. Travellers must be prepared for such an eventuality if they book non-refundable accommodation, car hire and so on. Perhaps travel insurance is the answer here.

    An airline would simply say its contract with the passenger is to transport him/her from A to B.

    I always remember when dozens of expats in the UAE lost out when Air Asia X abruptly axed its AUH-KUL service (after a couple of months on the route). The expats had booked non-refundable accommodation and ground arrangements in Malaysia/SE Asia.

    Garuda is making an absolute mess of this route,

    But remember that for Garuda it is Amsterdam which has always been its leading European destination. During the time when Garuda was subject to the EU ban the airline continued to maintain only an Amsterdam office. And of course Amsterdam, not London, has always been Garuda’s European HQ.

    It does appear that Garuda is reverting to volume rather than trying to emulate SIA (Indonesia’s unofficial national airline).

    Our piece from November 2017.

    Garuda Indonesia cuts back

    Once upon a time Garuda wanted to restart service to several European cities. It also wanted to inaugurate flights to the USA. But as we reported in 2017 (see link above) all these plans have been postponed as Garuda needs to economise.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    @IndonesiaGaruda Garuda today has tweeted to a local traveller that it intends to fly CGK-LHR-CGK from November 27.

    No mention of whether the flights will be non-stop or direct (with the SIN re-fuelling stop on the CGK-LHR portion).

    So we shall have to see.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    The GDs shows non-stops as below.
    GA 086 246 CGK 3 LHR 4 1205 2000 0 27NOV18 773 14:55
    GA 087 246 LHR 4 CGK 3 2155 1910+1 0 27NOV18 773 14:15

    It is saleable :
    1 GA 087 Y 01DEC 6 LHRCGK HK1 2055 4 2155 1910+1 773 E 0 HR
    BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE 30 KGS
    2 GA 086 Y 04DEC 2 CGKLHR HK1 1105 3 1205 2000 773 E 0 HR
    BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE 30 KGS

    The old adage with computers applies, garbage in, garbage out, but that is the information that Garuda has supplied. 1’55” is a rather ambitious turnaround time.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    In all my years of experience I’ve never known an airline to drop a route (especially such a long-haul service such as this) and reinstate it one month later.

    Of course things could still change so we await developments.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    We will never run out of news while Garuda is around

    Garuda Indonesia’s non-stop London service is returning

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    George18
    Participant

    Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia president director I Gusti Ngurah Askhara said on Monday that the airline would reopen its Jakarta-London route after reviewing its costs.

    The review includes replacing the Boeing 777 with Airbus 330-300 planes used on the route, he said, adding that it would make the route more efficient because of a higher seat occupancy rate.

    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/11/12/garuda-to-reopen-jakarta-london-route.html


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia president director I Gusti Ngurah Askhara said on Monday that the airline would reopen its Jakarta-London route after reviewing its costs.

    The review includes replacing the Boeing 777 with Airbus 330-300 planes used on the route, he said, adding that it would make the route more efficient because of a higher seat occupancy rate.

    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/11/12/garuda-to-reopen-jakarta-london-route.html%5B/quote%5D

    In fact this news emerged in local media two days earlier. I provided the link in one of the above posts. But here it is again.

    http://www.beritasatu.com/bisnis/521641-garuda-buka-rute-jakartalondonbali.html

    The restart date was given as November 15. I’ve never known any long-haul carrier to reopen a route like this with only a few days’ notice.

    The A330-300 is mentioned but that aircraft lacks the capability to operate CGK-LHR-CGK non-stop.


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Well thanks all, for the information and research!
    I do not really know where to start…?!

    Using the A333 as used on the CGK/DPS – SYD/MEL routes, means old business seating 2-2-2.
    The 773 was a modern 1-2-1. I would not fly a A333 that distance , with that seating.

    I agree that even with a 2.45 min turnaround, the flights i have taken, have always been late leaving LHR. So a 1.55hrs turnaround will only add to this unreliability. I also note, it states T4 at LHR a change from T3. Though this is a Skyteam terminal, and makes sense.

    “Erratic and indecisive” would be an understatement for Garuda and its services back to the UK, going back 4/5 years to LGW.
    I have never had so many timetable and aircraft changes prior to a departing flight, connecting to Australia, as Garuda once booked, with any Airline Worldwide, in 20 years. Some of these changes meant being too late to connect to Australia, but i had to call and tell them!

    I do not feel confident in making bookings with them in their current disorganised ( well highly increased…) state.
    As rightly pointed out, other arrangements such as Hotels for stopovers or extensive accommodations at your arrival in Australia, means they are no longer an option for me. Insurances do not cover, and neither would Amex with the change in airport, change in flights, and change in days with one Dispute over Garuda some years ago!
    Garuda informed it was a Business D class and not changeable!

    A complete mess, and how the Airline assume having really maddened many of their customers just weeks ago. They had to call Indonesia themselves to make changes to a cancelled schedule, LGW offices refusing to deal with these!
    Do they really think there will be a profitable occupancy for flights restarting in a few weeks time again, having been cancelled completely?!!!

    Amsterdam is not really an option with fares double that ex LHR, and as previously outlined, you would need to be on the only one KLM flight ex LHR @6.40am to connect the Garuda 11am -ish flight on.
    I do not leave for Airports at 2am to take a 2-3-4 stop flight to Australia.
    Seems Garuda is back to “The Bus Service to Europe” as it was many years ago.
    It certainly should have its 5 star Skytrax reduced to 3 maximum.

    I am aware of the KLM flights, but again ex London, this is a 3 stop service just to Indonesia alone.meaning over 21+ hours of travel time, vs a Non stop flight of about 14 hrs.

    Best pull out, and stay out Garuda.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    They don’t seem to know their Madras from their Elba. So much conflicting information.

    I agree with Marcus, stay out. Friends of mine came back from AU (MEL I think) with them a few years ago, and said that ‘chaos’ would have been an understatement, particularly for the boarding process and the transfer.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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