Garuda gets green light to fly to US
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Garuda Indonesia will soon be able to fly to the US, after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) upgraded Indonesia’s safety rating.
Indonesia had been a Category 2-rated country, meaning that its safety standards were below the international level set out by ICAO, and prohibiting the country’s airlines from mounting flights to the US. But the FAA announced this week that it has now raised Indonesia’s rating to Category 1.
Following the ruling, national carrier Garuda has already confirmed that it intends to launch its first ever US flights.
Indonesia’s Antara news agency reported the airline’s vice president of corporate communications, Benny S. Butarbutar, as saying that Garuda wants to commence services to New York and Los Angeles, with two or three flights per week.
“Well make our flight schedule convenient for the people and thus win the markets trust,” he added.
Garuda will not operate the US routes direct however; both are likely to include a stop at Tokyo’s Narita Airport. Garuda will deploy its fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the US routes, most likely in a three-class cabin configuration.
Indonesian airlines were effectively banned from the US in 2007, following an unsatisfactory safety assessment. The European Union also imposed a blanket ban on Indonesian airlines at that time, but then partially lifted it in 2009, allowing Garuda to relaunch flights to Europe.
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