With New Planes, Garuda to Expand Its Reach in Europe


Flagship carrier Garuda Indonesia will open new European routes early in 2013 in a bid to expand its international market share.

Pudjobroto, the airline’s corporate secretary, said the company would open routes to Frankfurt, Rome, Paris and London in 2013. “We’re expecting delivery of our long-haul fleet, as many as 10 Boeing 777-300ERs, starting early next year,” he said.

He added that Garuda had wanted to open the routes this year, but unfavorable developments like the economic crisis in Europe had forced the company to postpone its plans.

“Let’s hope that by 2013 the situation in Europe will be a lot better,” Pudjobroto said.

Garuda now serves just one European destination, Amsterdam.

“The Amsterdam route is doing well right now, and we want to proceed with other routes in the region,” the corporate secretary said.

Garuda had stopped flying to Amsterdam in 2004 because the route wasn’t profitable. Then from June 2007 to July 2009, the European Union banned all Indonesian airlines for safety reasons.

Between January and September, Garuda had a 23 percent share of international traffic from the country. That was down from 24 percent in the same period last year.

Tony Tyler, the International Air Transport Association’s director general and CEO, said separately that air travel had enjoyed good growth this year, but warned that the deepening euro zone crisis might slow international air traffic.

“With Europe accounting for 29.2 percent of global air travel, this suggests that the current overall strength in air travel is based on fragile foundations,” Tyler said.

“The economic prospects for 2012 are uncertain, but the track record of aviation’s ability to act as a catalyst for economic activity is rock-solid.”

Source: The Jakarta GLobe - December 4, 2011