GARUDA Indonesia, Indonesia’s national carrier, made its solo debut at the Arabian Travel Market and announced the launch of a daily non-stop service from Jakarta to Dubai and on to Amsterdam beginning June 1.
The airline will operate the new long-haul service with its 222-seat Airbus A330-200s. The introduction of the route marks a significant step forward in the airline’s global network expansion strategy.
Iswandi Said, senior general manager for Europe and the Middle East, said: “Dubai is an exciting addition to our network and our forward bookings for June show a load factor of 72 per cent reaffirming our decision to start this route.”
The launch is part of the airlines ‘Quantum leap’ strategy, which includes growing its international network and increasing the number of departures by more than 300 per cent to 1,222 a week by 2014.
Onboard, the airline is investing heavily in developing a service culture known as the ‘Garuda Indonesia Experience’, which combines Indonesian hospitality with quality service that emphasises on safety and comfort both in the air and on the ground.
In the executive class, the aircraft has fully reclining flat beds with 74-inch seat pitch. The A330-200 will operate in a two class configuration carrying 36 passengers in executive class and 186 in economy class.
Another unique feature will be ‘Immigration on-Board’. This will allow passengers entering Indonesia to have their travel documents processed on-board. Passengers who require visas for entry into Indonesia will be able to purchase ‘Visa on Arrival’ vouchers available at Garuda Indonesia check-in counters at both airports. During the flight, immigration officers on the aircraft will conduct passport checks and issue a ‘Visa on Arrival’ and a card that must be returned to ground immigration officers before exiting the airport.
The carrier has plans to increase its fleet with 54 aircraft on order, by 2014 it hopes to have 128 aircraft including 10 Boeing 777-300ERs and 50 737-800s.
“Looking ahead, we are expecting to take delivery of our new Boeing 777-300ER by the last quarter of 2010. This will allow us to begin direct operations to Amsterdam. At the same time, we will look at opportunities to then combine our Dubai network to destinations like Manila and elsewhere in the Middle East,” said Said.
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