Garuda Indonesia, which marks its 50th year serving the Hong Kong market, is keen to raise its profile with the corporate and conference and incentive travel sector.
M Riza Perdana Kusuma, the carrier’s general manager, Hong Kong and Macau, told Business Traveller, this effort dovetailed with Garuda’s “Quantum Leap 2011-2015” strategy, aiming to transform it into a highly competitive performer in the future.
Fleet and product enhancement, which started in 2009 with the arrival of 14 B737NGs, followed by subsequent improvements onboard and on the ground – the latest, a premium check-in zone at its base Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Jakarta – have combined to create a favourable image for the once-flagging carrier (see news and news).
Riza said the time has come for one of its oldest outports, Hong Kong, to be enhanced as well, a move to strengthen its relationships with repeat local clientele and build up ties with new ones.
While Hong Kong International Airport may not boast the exclusive premium passenger section found in Jakarta, Riza said there are perks, particular to this facility they have been offering business class passengers and Garuda’s Frequent Flyer programme members.
Instead of one airport lounge location, customers are given a choice of using either the Plaza Premium Lounge in the satellite terminal or the CNAC lounge near gate 16 in the main building, depending on which is nearer where their aircraft departs from. “We want to make it very convenient for our passengers,” said Riza.
Garuda Hong Kong is also intending to launch from November, free limousine transfers between Soekarno-Hatta Airport and downtown Jakarta, issuing vouchers to each business class passenger. Riza said: “This shows our loyal customers that we care for them, and it will also be very helpful for first-time visitors to the city.” For the past two years, use of a fast-track immigration line at the Jakarta Airport has been made available, with a card indicating the service issued to every premium check in at Chek Lap Kok.
Self check-in kiosks found at Jakarta Airport have still to find their way to Hong Kong “because we are still in the process of strengthening our home base,” explained Riza, who assured the public that more benefits were planned, especially with Garuda preparing to join Skyteam (see news).
To celebrate half a century of flying to Hong Kong, Garuda is running the “Pair Your Paradise” lucky draw until November 9 on Facebook for prizes such as return flights to Bali, Lombok and Yogyakarta with full acommodation (www.facebook.comGarudaIndonesiaHK), an initative that has spiked the number of fans from 3,000 to around 16,000 since the promo was launched on October 10.
For more details, visit www.garuda-indonesia.com
Margie T Logarta