September 27, 2012
Credit: Image: Airbus
New services to Russia are among the long-haul plans Garuda Indonesia is considering for the Boeing 777-300ERs it is due to begin receiving next year.
The airline currently has no 777-300ERs in operation but has 10 on order, with the first scheduled for delivery in mid-2013. A Garuda spokesman says the first two 777-300ERs will be used for services from Indonesia to Tokyo and to destinations in the Middle East. Garuda presently has two Boeing 747-400s that it operates to Middle East destinations, such as Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, but it wants to phase the 747s out.
“We will go to Tokyo and the Middle East first with the 777s, but maybe later on, when more 777s are delivered to Garuda, we will launch services to cities in Russia, such as Moscow,” says the spokesman.
Garuda has said that its wants to use 777-300ERs to turn its one-stop service from Jakarta to Amsterdam, which uses an Airbus A330 via Dubai, into a non-stop service. It has also said it wants to resume services to London with the new aircraft.
The Russian market, however, is appealing because there are already many Russian tourists coming to Indonesia’s resort island of Bali for holidays, says the spokesman. “A lot are coming to Denpasar, Bali so maybe we will consider doing some charters first from Bali to Russia, before doing scheduled operations,” he adds. Russian carriers, such as Transaero and S7 Airlines, already operate between Russia and Denpasar.
In a separate development, Garuda says it is seeking to negotiate sale-and-leaseback deals on the 10 777-300ERs it has on order. It also wants to make similar arrangements for four Boeing 737-800s and 10 Airbus A320s that are due for delivery in 2013-16. The A320s are for its low-cost carrier Citilink.