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Garuda Postpones London Route Launch

Unable to secure preferred slots at London Gatwick Airport, Garuda Indonesia has postponed the relaunch of services between Jakarta and London until September, and will then operate the London sector as extension to its Amsterdam service.

The Indonesian airline had planned to reinstate flights to London last autumn, following a six-year hiatus brought about by the inclusion of all Indonesian airlines on the European Union’s safety blacklist in 2007. The ban on Garuda operating to Europe was lifted in 2009 following safety improvements.

Garuda Indonesia Boeing 777-300ER Takeoff
Garuda Indonesia Boeing 777-300ER Takeoff

However, infrastructure constraints at Jakarta’s congested gateway airport forced Garuda to delay launching its direct London service until May this year.

Announcing the further delay of its London service, Garuda said it had not been able to secure the slots it needed at Gatwick during the busy summer peak and would therefore inaugurate London in September 2014 as an extension to its new nonstop Jakarta-Amsterdam service.

Garuda said it was making “a number of changes in its plans” to reflect its accession to the SkyTeam alliance in March this year, and to optimize its codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways. These would include Garuda’s withdrawal from Abu Dhabi – currently a stopover on its Amsterdam service – when it launches the nonstop Amsterdam flights to using its new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on 30 May this year. In addition, Garuda will make Amsterdam its main European hub.

Garuda Indonesia president and CEO Emirsyah Satar said: “Following Garuda’s official joining of the SkyTeam, the opportunities presented by the established SkyTeam hub at Amsterdam are too significant to pass up, as it will be an alternative gateway for passengers who wish to travel beyond Europe. They will be able to choose from 1,064 destinations in 178 countries served by the SkyTeam member airlines.” From Sept. 8, Garuda will operate five Boeing 777 flights a week on the Jakarta – Amsterdam – London route.
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