British Airways will likely resume flights to Jakarta before the end of the year, it has emerged.
Indonesia's air transport director, Djoko Murjatmodjo, recently told the Jakarta Post that six new foreign carriers would shortly begin services to the country. And our very own BA is one of the carriers in question.
BA last served Jakarta before the economic downturn a few years ago, and whether or not it would reopen the route has long been speculated about on our forum.
Although BA has yet to comment, there are developments which make an official announcement very likely.
For starters, the airline recently retimed its London to Singapore terminator flights BA11 and BA12 to allow a longer layover in the City State. The eight hours the aircraft remains on the ground would be adequate to fit in a return "tag" flight to Jakarta.
This is similar routing to what Lufthansa used to offer when it last served Jakarta via Singapore.
But perhaps more significant is the fact that Indonesian airline Garuda, which was to have inaugurated flights from London Gatwick to Jakarta and Sydney on November 2 (see online news, April 18) has suddenly amended its UK website.
Garuda's schedules to Jakarta and beyond were clearly displayed when Business Traveller collated the above story last April. But they were removed a couple of days ago. Perhaps Garuda is mulling its options in light of BA's possible return?
Now that Lufthansa quit Jakarta there are only two European carriers who fly there, namely KLM and Turkish Airlines.
If BA were to return, then one would expect it to have traffic rights (as Lufthansa did) to carry passengers between Singapore and Jakarta.
But BA will face strong competition not just from Garuda's non-stop service, if and when it starts, but from SIA and from the Gulf carriers who are all adding more services.
Emirates alone operates three daily B777-300ER flights into Jakarta while SIA flies nine times a day from Singapore with connections from its five daily UK flights.
Business Traveller will bring you more news when available.