Garuda Plans Sydney-London Route Via Jakarta in Fourth Quarter

PT Garuda Indonesia will start a Sydney-to-London via Jakarta service in the fourth quarter that will compete with Singapore Airlines Ltd., Qantas Airways Ltd. and Emirates Airline.

Garuda will use two Boeing Co. 777 aircraft to service the route, which will generate yields at least “on par” with competitors, President and Chief Executive officer Emirsyah Satar said.

“The plane will fly from Sydney to Jakarta and then London, Satar said in an interview today. “We have an advantage over the others as the passenger will stay on the same aircraft all the way there. Passengers from other cities like Melbourne or Perth can make a connection in Jakarta to London.”

Garuda will take delivery of 24 aircraft this year and phase out seven, which will bring down the average age of its fleet to four years by the end of 2013, Satar said in interview with Bloomberg Television’s Rishaad Salamat.

The national flag carrier plans to expand into five European cities this year, and expects to return to the U.S. by 2015, flying to West Coast cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Garuda is planning to add London, Paris, Rome and either Frankfurt or Munich to the list of its European destinations, Satar said. The airline currently flies to Amsterdam.