Garuda to grow

31 Jan 2009

The European Union’s continued ban on Garuda Indonesia – as well as 50 other Indonesian airlines – from flying into its airspace hasn’t deterred the national flag carrier from network expansion.

With the arrival this year of 14 new Boeing B737NGs (New Generation), growth will be seen on some 18 routes, both domestic and international. A number are new services and others are re-opened sectors. International services include Denpasar (Bali)-Hongkong, Denpasar-Adelaide, Surabaya-Hongkong, Jakarta-Shanghai-Denpasar-Jakarta and Yogyakarta-Singapore.

Emirsya Satar, Garuda president and CEO, said they expected their fleet to grow by “threefold by 2013” with 50 B737NGs and 10 B777-300ERs. “Backed by these aircraft, we’ll be making a quantum leap.”

Garuda’s hopes of being taken off the blacklist were dashed last year, despite being certified in May by the International Air Transport Association “fit to fly”, when the EU decided to extend the status.

Claims of Garuda (as well as Mandala Airlines and Airfast) that it has improved safety standards do not seem to have convinced the authorities, who said they still had “to demonstrate they had completed the corrective actions”.

The ban was imposed, following a string of fatal accidents, notably when an Adam Air plane crashed into the sea off Sulawesi Island in 2007 due to pilot error and Garuda flight 200 attempted landing at extreme speed and overshot the runway in Central Java, killing 21.

For more details,

Margie T Logarta

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