JAKARTA, Indonesia – Garuda Indonesia, the flag carrier of Indonesia, today signed an agreement to join the SkyTeam airline alliance in 2012. Garuda will expand SkyTeam’s presence in Southeast Asia, adding 30 new destinations to the alliance network.
Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and a fast growing emerging market. SkyTeam is actively working to grow its presence in the region and Garuda is a welcome addition to the alliance. Garuda has 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 destinations in 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, and for years we have been upgrading our service and actively forging cooperation with SkyTeam member airlines with this objective in mind,” said Emirsyah Satar, President and CEO of Garuda. “As the first Indonesian airline to join this world-class alliance, our strategic target is to continuously strengthen profitability and boost international market competitiveness.”
“The most fitting word to characterize 2010 for SkyTeam is growth. Welcoming a member that covers a considerable part of Southeast Asia definitely illustrates our expansion,” said SkyTeam Chairman Leo van Wijk. “Indonesia has great cultural and historical wealth, is rich in a range of natural resources and has seen impressive economic developments. 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.”
Garuda Indonesia was named the ‘World’s Most Improved Airline’ at the Skytrax 2010 World Airline Awards.
“Jakarta will serve as an alternate gateway to and from Asia,” said SkyTeam Managing Director Mr. Marie-Joseph Male. “Garuda’s consideration to expand its intercontinental network to Frankfurt, Paris, London and Rome will make the airline an increasingly attractive option for business and leisure travelers.”
Garuda already cooperates extensively with Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, China Southern and China Airlines, and will establish additional codeshare agreements with other SkyTeam partners. The joining process leading to full entry into SkyTeam is expected to be completed by 2012.
Garuda is the fifth Asian-based airline this year to join or announce its intention to join SkyTeam. Vietnam Airlines joined the alliance in June while China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines are each slated to join by 2012.