Garuda Indonesia postpones Gatwick route

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

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.

Alex McWhirter

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  • I think if Garuda really wanted to attract UK travellers to its new Jakarta service from LGW, then doing this before their Skyteam entry was misguided and somewhat naive.

    Business travellers will want to earm miles and status points, especially on such a long sector, and not having this option would drive then to MH, SQ, TG etc.

    I am sure there will be significant local demand for the new service ex-CGK, but with such a big entry to the market-daily 773, I imagine some UK demand would be helpful!

    Also if Virgin was to join Skyteam, this would also boost the appeal of UK travellers in choosing GA.

  • I agree with Sparkyflyer’s comments, however other than miles/status points, many price conscious business travellers would fly an airline like Garuda if they offered some competitive pricing on the route.

    Colleagues based in SE Asia tell me that Garuda’s transformation is impressive, with high attention to safety, plus amazing on-board service in both economy and business class. Some have had trials of the new First Class menus on their flights on the Jakarta-Sydney route, and they were hugely impressed.

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