Garuda to receive 24 new aircraft in 2010

Guest Writer

(Singapore, 3 February 2010): Indonesia’s national airline, Garuda Indonesia, will receive 23 Boeing 737-800 Next Generation and one A330-200 aircraft this year, confirming the rapid expansion of its fleet as part of its five-year ‘Quantum Leap’ transformation strategy. The 23 aircraft comprise nearly half of the 50 Boeing 737-800NGs that the carrier currently has on firm order.

The aircraft will feature Garuda Indonesia’s new signature interior, with individual touch-screen LCD TVs throughout Executive and Economy Classes with Video on Demand (VOD) entertainment systems offering 25 feature films and 25 audio tracks.

“We’re planning to add 10 domestic routes this year, increase frequencies on regional services including Singapore and Hong Kong,” said Emirsyah Satar, President and CEO, Garuda Indonesia at the Singapore Airshow.

“These new aircraft will support our expansion plans which are in line with our strategy to increase the number of domestic departures by over 150% to 2,072 per week and international departures more than threefold to 1,222 a week by 2014.”

Garuda Indonesia plans to almost double its current fleet of 67 aircraft to 116 aircraft over the next five years, based mainly on Boeing 737-800NGs and Airbus A330-300/200s, which are operated on medium and long haul routes. The airline will also introduce 10 Boeing 777-300ERs on new ultra long-range flights starting 2011 as it expands its international network.

“Our debt restructuring is almost complete and we’re looking to go public by mid this year. We plan to raise approximately US$300 million which will be used to support our long-term growth plans,” added Satar.

On 1 June this year, the carrier will start a daily non-stop service from Jakarta to Dubai and on to Amsterdam. The introduction of this service marks a significant step forward in the airline’s global network strategy. Amsterdam will be the first of a number of key European routes to destinations such as Frankfurt, Paris and London and Rome which Garuda Indonesia will launch as part of its international expansion over the next few years.

The Amsterdam route will initially be serviced by the airline’s fleet of technically advanced A330-200 aircraft, featuring Garuda’s new exterior and interior design inspired by the energy of nature’s wings.  When it takes delivery of the Boeing 777-300ERs commencing 2011, these aircraft will be used to operate non-stop from Jakarta into Europe.

The airline is also retrofitting its current fleet of six Airbus A330-300s with its new signature interior, including full lie-flat beds in Executive Class and seatback Video on Demand systems throughout the aircraft. This process will be completed by mid-2010 and the newly-fitted aircraft will be used to service international routes including Australia, Korea and Japan.

Garuda Indonesia was recently upgraded to a four-star rating by Skytrax, the global benchmark for airline service standards, confirming the improvement in its front-line product and service quality. The airline also received its IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification in May 2008, recognising that the airline is fully compliant with global “best-practice” standards for flight operations, aircraft maintenance and safety management systems.

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