Garuda Indonesia has announced it is postponing the launch of its London Gatwick to Jakarta route until May 2014.
The new service was set to become a useful route for UK travellers heading to Australia via Jakarta.
It is scheduled to be a five-times weekly service, reports routesonline.com.
Business Traveller has received an official statement from Garuda.
It reads: “Garuda is postponing the launch of its direct flight from London to Jakarta due to limited runway capacity at Soekarno-Hatta Airport. Indonesia’s national carrier will begin the first ever non-stop service in May 2014.
“The pavement classification number (PCN) of the runways and apron at Soekarno-Hatta Airport do not meet the required level of strength that is typically needed for the operation of a full capacity, heavy duty commercial airliner such as the Boeing 777-300ER.
“To operate at full capacity serving direct, non-stop flights between Jakarta and London, while carrying 314 passengers and a maximum take-off weight of 30 tons of cargo, the Boeing 777-300ER requires a PCN of 132 tons. Soekarno-Hatta’s runway has a PCN of 120 tons.”
The airline said that if it were to operate non-stop to London under present conditions it would mean having to carry 39 fewer passengers and less cargo. This would make the route uneconomic.
The news comes a day after we reported that British Airways will likely resume flights to Jakarta before the end of the year (see online news, July 30).
Indonesia’s air transport director, Djoko Murjatmodjo, told the Jakarta Post that six new foreign carriers, including BA, would shortly begin services to the country.