Garuda Indonesia joins SkyTeam today, launches London-Jakarta in May

(EDIT, April 2014 – since this story was written, Garuda has scrapped plans to launch direct London flights.  It will now be a tag to the Amsterdam flight.)

Barring any last minute mishaps, Garuda Indonesia will today become the latest airline to join one of the three main airline alliances when it joins SkyTeam as their 20th member.

To quote:

Garuda Indonesia is the “flag carrier” of Indonesia operating 131 aircraft to serve 39 domestic destinations and 20 international destinations across Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and Europe, out of its four hubs in Indonesia, namely Jakarta, Denpasar, Makassar, and Medan. In line with improvements in various aspects of its performance and service, Garuda Indonesia has won a number of accolades and recognition from both national and international institutions, including “The World’s Best Economy Class” award from Skytrax in June 2013 and the “Best in Region: Asia and Australasia”, by the “Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)”, in September 2013.

Even if you have some miles in any of the SkyTeam programmes (Flying Blue, Delta etc), Garuda isn’t much use at the moment.  The only direct flight they have to Europe is from Amsterdam – all of their other ‘services’ are actually codeshares which will not be available for redemption via Garuda.

However, in May they are launching London Gatwick to Jakarta.  This will use the brand new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which are currently being delivered.  Note that these planes even have wi-fi.

This is the first class and business class product on the new 777’s:

Garuda First Class

Garuda Business Class

….. which does not seem bad at all.

Garuda has a difficult history, and until recently they were not allowed to fly into the EU at all because of their safety record.  All of that now seems to be behind them, hopefully.

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Comments

  1. At least the routing is better than the one I flew back from Jakarta in the 90s, which from memory was Jakarta – Bangkok – Abu Dhabi – Frankfurt – London. More bus than plane.

    • Lady London says:

      + 1 I did that one around that time too.

      Food (in Y) was great though.

      Shortly after that I also flew SQ in Y, and actually the experiences were not that different.

  2. Here’s a report on their First Class service:

    http://flight-report.com/en/report-4919.html

  3. For those looking for Summer / Xmas flights to Oz worth checking out as the flights have only just been added. The same 77W plane operates LGW-CGK-SYD & vv so amongst the fastest ways out there. For those stuck in Y, it’s looking pretty excellent from all feedback so far (gone the BA rather than EK 9 across, but better legroom than BA for what I’m thinking will be the longest flights from the UK?). Regular route for me, so i’m excited!

  4. Good news. Jakarta has become too major a global city not to have a direct flight from the UK. Hopefully this route will prosper and force BA or Cathay to create a direct service of their own.

  5. Actually you can scrap the entire post. Big changes afoot on the route. Watch out for imminent announcements.