Garuda Indonesia Joins SkyTeam

Alliance extends its reach into Southeast Asia and Australia.

Garuda Indonesia, the flag carrier of Indonesia, has signed an agreement to join the airline alliance SkyTeam in 2012. Adding this national airline will expand SkyTeam’s presence in Southeast Asia, adding 30 new destinations to the alliance network. Garuda already cooperates extensively with Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, China Southern and China Airlines and will soon establish additional codeshare agreements with other SkyTeam partners.

It is a full-service network carrier and serves 28 domestic and 18 international destinations. The airline’s main hubs in Indonesia are located in Jakarta and Denpasar. In July 2009, the airline unveiled a new aircraft fleet, new in-flight product, new service concept and a fresh corporate identity. Indonesia is the biggest economy in Southeast Asia and a fast-growing emerging market.

SkyTeam says it is actively working to increase its presence in the region and that Garuda is a very welcome addition to the alliance. Garuda boasts a broad Indonesian and regional network and is able to offer additional coverage and improved connections to the Asia Pacific. Some of the 30 new additions to the SkyTeam network are Surabaya in East Java, Medan in North Sumatra and Perth in Australia. “Joining SkyTeam is a long-term development strategy for Garuda Indonesia,” said Emirsyah Satar, president and CEO of Garuda, “and for years we have been upgrading our service and actively forging cooperation with SkyTeam member airlines with this objective in mind.”

Garuda, which is listed by SkyTrax as a four-star airline and which was founded in 1949, is the first Indonesian carrier to join SkyTeam. In May this year, it was named “the world’s most improved airline” during the 2010 World Airline Awards in Hamburg. “Garuda’s financial and operational restructuring has proven very successful and I am convinced that this will help position the airline as a major player in the region,” said SkyTeam Chairman Leo van Wijk.

“Jakarta will serve as an alternate gateway to and from Asia,” added Marie-Joseph Malé, the alliance’s managing director. “Garuda’s consideration to expand its intercontinental network to Frankfurt, Paris, London and Rome will make it an increasingly attractive option for business and leisure travellers”.

Indonesia Today (photo: Gunkarta)

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