CENGKARENG, Indonesia – Indonesian flag carrier Garuda Indonesia plans to re-operate its flight service to the United States (US) from next year. This plan follows the announcement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last month that Indonesia complies with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards and has been granted a Category 1 rating. With the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category 1 rating, Garuda Indonesia is now able to establish service to the US.
Vice President of Corporate Communications Garuda Indonesia, Benny S. Butarbutar, stated that the re-operation of the US flight service is a strategic response upon the FAA announcement, and indeed was one of the airline strategic plans.
“Our plan to re-operate the US flight service is expected to strengthen Garuda’s position as one of global aviation player. With the upgraded rating from FAA which recognizes the Indonesia aviation safety and security standard, we are trying to make plan realization even sooner,” Benny said.
Benny added, that in regard to plan, Garuda Indonesia has now already started to work on preparation, including feasibility study upon the market potency, profitable route, high-utilized aircraft, as well as transit permit from Japan aviation authority.
“Due to the initial preparation, we are planning to operate our wide body Boeing 777-300ER to serve the US flight. With some consideration especially on commercial aspect, the flight will transit at Tokyo Narita prior flying to the US from Jakarta. Up until now, Japan still grants the ‘Fifth Freedom Right’ to Indonesian carriers, which allows Garuda Indonesia to fill up the seats – and further increase the passenger load factor – for our flights to the US,” he explained.
The Indonesia potential market to the US is quite remarkable, reaching up to 400,000 passengers every year. Capturing the potential, Garuda Indonesia targeting its US flight to Los Angeles or New York, as two cities with highest potential market.
In 2014, Garuda Indonesia announced its codeshare partnership with Delta Airlines – as the same member of SkyTeam alliance – for flight service to Los Angeles and Seattle via Tokyo Haneda.
“We are trying our best to realize the plan earlier, as well as ensuring that all preparations running comply with all procedures and regulations,” Benny concluded.