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Jakarta Post

Garuda eyes US market with direct flights set for next year

  • Arif Gunawan Sulistiyono
    Arif Gunawan Sulistiyono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, September 10, 2016   /  05:37 pm
Garuda eyes US market with direct flights set for next year An airport official prepares the take off of a Garuda Indonesia aircraft at Hangar 4 of Garuda Indonesia's Maintenance Facility at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, on March 19. (Antara/Muhammad Adimaja)

National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is set to serve a US route starting next year, eyeing a potential yearly market of 400,000 passengers especially from possible Los Angeles and New York routes.

Garuda spokesperson Benny S. Butarbutar says flying the US route is part of the company’s strategic plan. The firm has started a feasibility study on US market potential, profitable routes, likely utilized aircraft, including transit and transporting its permit with Japanese authorities.

“The plan to fly a US route is a business expansion [decision] to strengthen Garuda Indonesia’s position as a global aviation player. We immediately are taking all actions needed to realize the plan,” he said in a press statement on Saturday in Jakarta.

Based on several commercial considerations, he continued, Garuda would serve the US route through Narita International Airport, Tokyo, with the wide-body Boeing 777-300ER.

“All the preparations are taken by referring to all existing regulations and procedures […] Up until now, Japan provides fifth freedom traffic rights for Indonesian airlines, which allows Garuda to add a load factor before flying to the US,” Benny said.

Since 2014, Garuda has indirectly served two US routes, namely to Los Angeles and Seattle, through Haneda International Airport, Tokyo, under a code-share agreement with Delta Airlines, a member of the SkyTeam alliance.

Now, it can serve direct routes as the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) upgraded the safety status of Indonesian airlines to category one in August. (ags)