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Report in asia.nikkei.com suggests Garuda will be embarking on a further round of cost-cutting following the news that it lost US$214.51 million in the first half of 2017.
At a recent travel fair in Tokyo, Garuda’s president Pahala Nugraha Mansury was heard to tell Rini Soemarno, Indonesia’s minister of state-controlled enterprises, that “Garuda is cutting back first class service.”
The news should not come as a surprise. The airline has already dropped first class from its Tokyo route. Amsterdam will follow, as we reported last month, at the end of October.
First class is an expensive product for an airline to provide and especially if it is limited to one route, namely Jakarta-London.
Garuda has indicated that its London route will retain first class but for how long ?
Agree completely, First will be worthwhile for fewer airlines and routes.
Maybe only legacy airlines on their major routes since business now is comparable and even BA offers free upgrades to F at quiet times.
Jet Blue offers a business plus product on transcon routes and its virtually a first product in a business seat, other airlines have to compete. Probably the future of First?
I believe Garuda now has just two B777-300ERs configured with first class and, as we have already reported, they will be confined to the Jakarta-London from the end of this month.
Which begs the question of how long Garuda can sustain its first class product on a single route.
There are some wealthy Indonesians who will travel first class but they will tend to use SIA via Singapore for their global travels.
SIA is known as Indonesia’s unofficial national airline.