With thanks to ‘flyingveryhigh’ who posted the link to Garuda’s London-Jakarta schedules on a recent blog, I can now reveal that the Indonesian carrier will become a significant kangaroo route player starting on November 2.
Garuda intends to operate convenient flights linking London not just with Jakarta but with Perth, Melbourne and Sydney too.
Garuda has amended its schedules so that the new non-stop London Gatwick service connects in Jakarta with onward flights to the three above-named Australian cities.
The Indonesian airline is taking a leaf out of Singapore Airlines’ book in that the connections (for Melbourne and Sydney at least) are perfectly timed in both directions.
It also hopes to woo those kangaroo route customers who may prefer to route to/from the UK via SE Asia rather than via the Gulf.
A further bonus for travellers is that Garuda is starting these new routes in November which is the start of the busy season for travel Down Under. It’s a time of year when all airlines hike their prices.
Garuda did serve the kangaroo route many years ago. But in those days it offered slow, multi-stop flights. The new one-stop service with brand new planes will represent an entirely different product.
But as Garuda currently lacks market awareness (with travellers in general) it can be expected to offer keen fares to fill its B777-300ER aircraft which will accommodate eight passengers in first, 38 in business and 268 in economy.
The new service from London Gatwick will be GA87 which will depart daily (except Wednesday and Friday) at 1000 to arrive into Jakarta at 0615 the following day. Flight time is 13 hors 15 minutes.
This flight is operated by a three class B777-300ER and it is believed the same aircraft will continue right through between London and Sydney.
So flight GA712 departs Jakarta at 0755 to reach Sydney at 1840. Flight time is six hours 45 minutes and the aircraft will be a B777-300ER.
The return one-stop service out of Sydney for London is GA713 which will depart at 2010 and arrive into Jakarta at 2315. Flight time is seven hours five minutes.
Passengers will continue to London with flight GA087 (daily except Wednesday and Friday) which departs Jakarta at 0055 and reaches London Gatwick the same morning at 0830.
Flight time on this sector is a lengthy 14 hours 35 minutes.
When you add up the overall flight time and the transit time in Jakarta then Garuda’s overall London-Sydney schedule can be considered one of the shortest.
But that’s not all. Although Sydney has the benefit of the B777-300ER service throughout, there are also onward connections from Jakarta to Perth and Melbourne.
In the case of Melbourne, passengers depart Jakarta with GA716 at 0800 which reaches Melbourne at 1825. Return flight GA717 departs Melbourne at 1925 and touches down in Jakarta at 2245.
These flights are operated by an A330.
As for Perth, well this flight is rostered for a narrow-bodied B737-800 and the transit time in Jakarta is an hour or two longer.
Flight GA724 departs Jakarta at 0955 to reach Perth at 1650. Return service GA725 leaves Perth at 1840 and arrives back into Jakarta at 2135.
A video showing the interior of the new B777-300ER has been released on YouTube. Readers will be glad to know that, unlike certain other European and Gulf carriers, Garuda will be offering the more spacious nine across 3-3-3 layout in the economy cabin.
Please note that at the time of writing, Garuda has not released any fares either for London-Jakarta or for the new kangaroo route services. And that means, for the time being, bookings are not possible.
For more information visit garudaindonesia.co.uk.
Report by Alex McWhirter