Following on from the FAA ruling in August, Garuda Indonesia has unveiled plans to recommence flights to the United States starting next year.
As expected, the airline will focus its new services on Los Angeles or New York, as these two cities represent the highest market potential. Garuda believes that the new flights between Indonesia and the US can attract up to 400,000 more visitors to Indonesia each year.
Last month’s ruling from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed that Indonesia now complies with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards and has been granted a Category 1 rating. In response to the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category 1 rating, Garuda Indonesia is now able to establish services to the US.
Garuda Indonesia’s Vice President of Corporate Communications, Benny S. Butarbutar, said, “Our plan to re-operate the US flight service is expected to strengthen Garuda’s position as a global aviation player. With the upgraded rating from FAA which recognizes the Indonesia aviation safety and security standard, we are trying to realize our plans sooner.”
In 2014, Garuda Indonesia entered into a codeshare partnership with Delta Airlines, a member of SkyTeam, for flights to Los Angeles and Seattle via Tokyo Haneda. Garuda has already started work on a feasibility study looking at market potency, profitable routes and transit permits from Japan’s aviation authorities.
“We are planning to operate wide body Boeing 777-300ER on US routes. The flight will transit at Tokyo Narita prior to flying to the US from Jakarta. 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,” Benny said.
Garuda is the first airline to capitalize on the new FAA status and bring into effect previously agreed partnerships that can open up new channels and revenue streams, with a substantial new demographic of American visitors. With such plans already in place and the way clear for American arrivals, Indonesia’s tourism landscape is set to benefit and grow towards the government target of 20 million annual visitors by 2019.