Garuda Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia

Infobox Airline
airline=Garuda Indonesia
parent=Government of Indonesia
company_slogan=The Airline of Indonesia
founded=26 January 1949 (as Garuda Indonesian Airways)
headquarters=Jakarta, Indonesia
key_people=Emirsyah Satar (President and CEO)
hubs=Soekarno-Hatta International Airport
Ngurah Rai Airport
Juanda International Airport
Sepinggan International Airport
Polonia International Airport
Singapore Changi Airport
focus_cities=Semarang, Yogyakarta, Palembang, Padang, Batam, Manado, Makassar and Perth
frequent_flyer=Garuda Frequent Flyer
lounge=Executive Lounge
fleet_size=50 (+70 orders, 10 options)
website= []

PT (Persero) Perusahaan Penerbangan Garuda Indonesia is the national airline of Indonesia. It is named after the mythical bird Garuda. In Indian Vedic tradition, Garuda is the carrier of the Hindu god Vishnu; a representation of Garuda appears in the coat of arms of Indonesia. The airline is based in Jakarta at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, with hubs at Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, Juanda International Airport, Surabaya, Polonia International Airport, Medan, Sepinggan International Airport, Balikpapan, and Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore.Fact|date=May 2007 The airline flies to a number of destinations in South-East,East Asia, the Middle East and Australia. It also previously flew to several destinations in Europe. However, as of June 2008, Garuda, along with all Indonesian airlines, is banned from flying to the EU [cite web |url= |title=List of airlines banned within the EU |accessdate=2008-01-24 |publisher=European Commission's "Transport" website] . It is wholly owned by the Indonesian Government and employs 6,285 staff (as of March 2007).


Garuda Indonesia had its beginnings in the Indonesian war of independence against the Dutch in the late 1940s, when Garuda flew special transports with Douglas DC-3 aircraft. January 26, 1949, is generally recognized as the airline's founding date, at which time the airline was known as "Garuda Indonesian Airways." The first plane was a DC-3 known as "Seulawah" (Acehnese: "Gold Mountain") and was purchased for a sum of 120,000 Malayan dollars, which was provided by the Acehnese people (notably local merchants). Fact|date=February 2007 During the revolution, the airline supported Indonesian interests, such as carrying Indonesian leaders for diplomatic missions. The government of Burma helped the airline significantly during the airline's beginnings. Accordingly, upon Garuda's formal joint incorporation with KLM on March 31, 1950, the airline presented the Burmese government with a DC-3. By 1953, the airline had 46 planes, although by 1955 its Catalina fleet had been retired. In 1956, Garuda made its first pilgrim flight to the city of Mecca.

The 1960s were times of growth for the airline; the fleet in 1960 included eight Convair 240s, eight Convair 340s, and three Convair 440s. In 1961 and late 1965, three Convair 990 jet planes and three Lockheed L-188 Electra were introduced, and a route was opened to Kai Tak International Airport in Hong Kong. After concentrating on domestic and regional services, the first flights to Europe were added on September 28, 1963, to Amsterdam and Frankfurt. In 1965, flights to Europe were expanded to include Rome and Paris via Bombay and Cairo, with the exclusive use of Convair 990 aircraft. That year, flights to China started, with Garuda flying to Canton via Phnom Penh. Also in 1965, the jet age arrived for Garuda, with a Douglas DC-8 that flew to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

The 1970s saw McDonnell Douglas DC-9 and Fokker F28 jets introduced, and at one point Garuda owned 36 Fokker jets, making Garuda the world's largest operator of F28s at that time. In the 1980s, Garuda introduced Airbus equipment such as the Airbus A300 and the Airbus A300-600, as well as Boeing 737s, Boeing 747s, and McDonnell Douglas MD-11s.

The East Asian Economic Crisis of 1998 hit Indonesia and Garuda hard, resulting in severe cutbacks on unprofitable routes. Despite once having a comprehensive worldwide route network, Garuda currently operates no flights to Europe or North America. Largely due to historical links with the Netherlands, Garuda continued to operate flights to Amsterdam after the initial cutbacks, although these flights were also discontinued from 28 Oct 2004. The situation was exacerbated by the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Bali bombings, the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and the SARS scare, all of which contributed to a downturn in air travel and Indonesian tourism. However, the airline has recovered favorably from its economic problems and seems to be in good economic shape entering the middle 2000s.

In 2001, a low-cost airline subsidiary, CitiLink, was established to provide shuttle services between Indonesian cities.

Garuda may expand its route map again before the end of the decade, possibly after the scheduled completion of the new Medan airport, Kuala Namu International Airport, in 2009. This could include routes to major European hubs such as Paris, London, and Frankfurt, pending clearance by the European Union.

In June 2007, the EU banned Garuda Indonesia, along with all other Indonesian airlines, from flying into any European countries. This was despite spot checks conducted by South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Australia and the United States on Garuda Indonesia that yielded satisfactory results. With the support of the international aviation industry for all Indonesian airlines, the EU promised to review its ban and sent experts to Indonesia to consider lifting the ban. In August, the transportation minister of Indonesia announced that the EU would lift its ban hopefully somewhere in October, stating that the ban was attributed to communication breakdown between the two parties and that discussion was in the progress. In November 2007, Garuda announced its intention to fly to Amsterdam from Jakarta and Denpasar on the condition that the European Union lifted the ban on the airline. Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s are aircraft that could be used on these revitalised routes. [ [ e-Travel Blackboard] ] On November 28, 2007, the EU refused to lift its ban on Garuda flying to all European countries, despite lifting a ban on both Pakistan International Airlines and Blue Wing Airlines from Surinam. It announced the safety reforms already undertaken were a step in the right direction for the EU to consider lifting the ban, but still did not satisfy the EU's aviation safety standards. [ [ Indonesian president delays European visit after flight ban : Asia World ] ]

In July 2007, the Deputy of Marketing, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Indonesia announced that Garuda Indonesia had plans to start service to India, although the date has not been determined.. [ [ The Hindu Business Line : Garuda to fly into India ] ]

In-flight services

Garuda Indonesia is a full-service airline, in contrast with the 'no frills' low-cost carrier. The class configuration is divided into executive (business) and economy class. The airline lacks products often associated with the top international airlines, such as personal TV screens in all classes and business class seats which convert into beds. However, the introduction of such products may become viable in the coming years due to the recent restructuring and consolidation of the airline, which has delivered good profits in the first half of 2007. [ [ Garuda Indonesia news] ]

Executive Class

Executive Class is available on board all Garuda Indonesia aircraft with seat pitch ranging from 41-58". On selected aircraft, in-seat TVs are available. A range of hot and cold food and beverages is available, and snacks or meals are offered depending on the length of the flight. Fine wines are offered on international flights.

Economy Class

Similarly, Economy Class is available on board all Garuda Indonesia aircraft. Seat pitch ranges from 30-35" depending on the aircraft. Hot and cold meals or snacks and beverages, are offered depending on the length of the flight. Fine wines are offered on international flights.

In-flight entertainment

In-flight entertainment is available on board selected aircraft. Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 747-400 aircraft feature cabin screens with Airshow, a moving map system to allow passengers to track the progress of their flight, as well as feature films and short movies. Audio programming is also available.

In addition, Garuda Indonesia ordered 10 Boeing 777-300ER and 50 Boeing 737-800 during the Singapore Airshow. These new aircraft will be fitted with a new in-flight entertainment program and a new cabin ambience.

Newspapers and magazines

Newspapers and magazines are provided to all passengers on board Garuda Indonesia flights free of charge. An in-flight magazine, Garuda In-Flight Magazine, is also available as free reading material. [ [ Garuda Indonesia Airline :: Official Website ] ]


Garuda currently operates flights to a total of 43 destinations (23 domestic, 20 international) [ [ Garuda Indonesia website] ] throughout East and South East Asia, Australia and the Middle East, with Australia and Japan being vital tourism markets.


Garuda Indonesia also offers flights to 13 other international destinations through code-share agreements with:

Taking these codeshare routes into account, Garuda Indonesia's route map extends to Western Europe. Garuda Indonesia will also join Skyteam, an international airline alliance soon.Due to the accession to the Skyteam, Garuda Indonesia will be the only airline in Southeast Asia in that alliance. Moreover, this Indonesian carrier will intensify Skyteam's network to Indonesian, Australian and New Zealand destinations.

On 19 June 2007, Garuda Indonesia and Hainan Airlines entered a code-sharing arrangement in a bid to strengthen both airlines' marketing positions in Indonesia and China. [ [ Garuda Indonesia-News] ] . In this agreement, Garuda Indonesia will be the operating partner on the Jakarta-Beijing (vv) service, flying three times a week using the new B737-800.

An interline agreement between Garuda Indonesia and Australian airline Virgin Blue was confirmed in November 2007. This eases travel for passengers connecting from a Virgin Blue domestic flight to a Garuda Indonesia international service departing from either Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Darwin. [ [ MICEBTN] ]

Garuda Indonesia plans to open a new route, from Chennai, India to Medan, Indonesia and onward to Singapore. Althugh previously planned to start in April 2008, Garuda finally confirmed the initial flight of this Singapore - Medan - Chennai route. The new route will commence its first flight on November 1, 2008. This will be Garuda's first route to India, and also the first route between Medan and Singapore. Boeing 737-500s with 96 seats in total will be used on this route. Garuda Indonesia has also signed an interline agreement with Jet Airways, which will provide feeder traffic from other Indian cities to Garuda's services ex-Chennai. [ [ Travel Biz Monitor :: Garuda Indonesia to connect Chennai-Medan daily from April next year ] ] However, this plan has been postponed. The airline won't be opening a route to Chennai on the scheduled date. []

In June 2008, it was announced that Garuda will increase services between Australia and Bali. From 25 June, Garuda will add an extra flight between Darwin and Denpasar, bringing the total number of services to three per week. Additionally, a fourth flight from Melbourne to Denpasar will begin on July 22. On September 2, another extra service will depart from Melbourne to bring the total number of flights per week to five, and a sixth flight will leave from Sydney. This extra capacity is in response to an increase in the number of Australians who travelled to Bali in the first quarter of 2008, and marks a resurgence in Balinese tourism, which was hard hit by the 2002 Bali bombings and 2005 Bali bombings. [ [|e-Travel Blackboard news] ] Garuda will also re-open Bali-Brisbane route, a route that was once previously operated and axed.

In August 2008, there will be a codeshare between Singapore Airlines and Garuda Indonesia on route between Singapore and Denpasar. Singapore Airlines will be the operating carrier.


A 24-hour call center is available for local customer access and is a means of booking flights since the airline's website does not handle bookings. However, passengers from worldwide can also book all Garuda flights online via It is the airline's official UK-website. The e-ticket system (using paperless or electronic tickets) has been introduced on all domestic flights and flights to Singapore originating from Jakarta. This system computerizes the ticketing method, in which a traditional paper ticket is no longer required.

Frequent flyer program

Garuda Frequent Flyer was launched in September 1999.Fact|date=November 2007In 2005, Garuda Indonesia relaunched its frequent flyer program called Garuda Frequent Flyer (GFF) with a new look, new benefits, and new services. The new program allows members to earn miles on domestic and international flights and has four tiers of membership covering GFF Junior, Blue, Silver, Gold, and Platinum benefit levels. New services for GFF members include a new website at, including an on-line mileage calculator forearning and redemption, on-line mileage balance, on-line personal profile management, and downloadable forms.

Executive Lounge

The Garuda Executive Lounge is open to passengers travelling in Executive Class, as well as those holding a Gold or Platinum Garuda Frequent Flyer card. Passengers with an Executive Card Plus card or Garuda Indonesia Citibank credit card can also gain access to the lounge. Lounges are located at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and throughout Indonesia,offering food and drinks, wireless internet, showers, meeting rooms and business services. [ [ Garuda on the ground] ]


The Garuda Indonesia fleet consists of the following aircraft (at 29 July 2008): [ [ Garuda Indonesia Airline :: Official Website ] ]

They are all serviced by GMF AeroAsia. [ [
] Two of their Airbus A330s will be given to Iberia Airlines to give space for the Boeing 787-8 by 2011.

Previously operated

* Airbus A300 B4-220, -600
* Airbus A330-200
* Boeing 747-100 and -200
* Convair 990
* Douglas DC-3
* Douglas DC-8
* Fokker F28
* McDonnell Douglas DC-9
* McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30
* McDonnell Douglas MD-11/ER

Incidents and accidents

Garuda Indonesia is accredited by IATA with the IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit). [ [ Garuda Indonesia Achieves “IOSA Registration”] ]

Since its first incident in 1950, Garuda Indonesia has suffered 14 fatal accidents and 1 hijacked incident. These are some of them:
*Garuda Indonesia Convair-990 crashed on May 28, 1968 at Juhu, in Bombay, India with all passengers surviving. The pilot mistook the much smaller Juhu Airport used for small trainer aircraft for Bombay's Santa Cruz International Airport and tried to land his aircraft. It overshot the runway falling just short of the traffic road ahead and several residential buildings when its nose wheel got stuck in a ditch at the end of the runway.

*A Fokker F28 on a domestic flight on 11 July 1979 hit a volcano on approach to Medan Airport, Indonesia, all 61 on board killed. [ [ Aviation Safety Network] ]

*Garuda Indonesia Flight 206, a DC 9 aircraft was hijacked on 28 March 1981. This was the first serious Indonesian airline hijacking, since the first case was a desperate Marine hijacker who was killed by the pilot himself. The hijackers, a group called Commando Jihad, hijacked the DC 9 "Woyla", enroute from Palembang to Medan, and ordered the pilot to fly the plane to Colombo, Sri Lanka. But since the plane didn't have enough fuel, it refueled in Penang, Malaysia and then to Don Muang, Thailand. The hijackers demanded the release of Commando Jihad members imprisoned in Indonesia, and US $ 1.5 million, as well as a plane to take those prisoners to an unspecified destination. The Kopassus commandos who took part in this mission trained for only three days with totally unfamiliar weapons. A total of five people were killed in the raid including the airplane captain Herman Tante (probably by Kopassus commandos), and three of the five hijackers. One of the Kopassus commandos, Achmad Kirang, was also shot (probably by his comrades) - he later died in a Bangkok hospital. The rest of the hostages were rescued. The two remaining hijackers who had surrendered were killed on the airplane carrying them and the Kopassus troops back to Jakarta [Conboy, Ken (2003), "Kopassus: Inside Indonesia's Special Forces" Equinox Publishing, ISBN 979-95898-8-6pp.277-288] .

*A Fokker F28 on a domestic flight on 20 March 1982 overran the runway at Tanjung Karang-Branti Airport in bad weather, all 27 are killed when the aircraft burst into flames. [ [] Aviation-Safety Net]

*Garuda Indonesia Flight 865, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 departing Fukuoka, Japan, on June 13, 1996, overran the runway after aborting the takeoff well above rotation speed. The number-3 engine fuel line was severed, resulting in a massive fire and the total destruction of the aircraft. Three of the 275 people on board were killed. [ [ Air Disasters - 1996 Crash] ]

*Garuda Indonesia Flight 152, an Airbus A300B4-220FFCC aircraft flying direct from Jakarta, crashed in Sibolangit, 18 miles short of Medan airport in low visibility on September 26, 1997. All 222 passengers and 12 crews were killed. [ [ Air Disasters - 1997 Crash] ]
*Garuda Indonesia Flight 421 was a Boeing 737-300 traveling from Lombok to Yogyakarta on January 16, 2002, which was forced to make an emergency landing in poor weather on the Bengawan Solo River. One person, a stewardess, was killed in the accident; 59 other passengers and crew survived. [ [ Air Disasters - 2002 Crash] ]

*Garuda Indonesia Flight 974, a Boeing 747-400 registered PK-GSG bound for Amsterdam via Singapore on September 6, 2004, was the last flight for Indonesian Human Rights Activist, Munir Said Thalib. Munir was poisoned with arsenic during his flight transit in Singapore, or sometime near that time. A former Garuda Indonesia airline pilot was convicted. It was concluded from Munir's autopsy and eye witnesses during the trial, that he had died two hours before arrival in Schiphol, Amsterdam. [ [ Kontras website] ]

*Capt. Pilot Sri Hardono, commander of Garuda Indonesia Flight 501, a Boeing 737-500 from Pontianak to Jakarta, was suddenly ill shortly after take-off from Supadio Airport on November 22, 2004. Hardono immediately asked permission to the air traffic control to return to base. Hardono died shortly after the emergency landing while still in the cockpit. Heart attack was the cause of illness and death of Hardono. Due to the incident, the airport was temporarily suspended for 40 minutes. However, no one was injured nor killed in this incident. [ [,20041122-60,id.html Tempo Interaktif Pilot Garuda Diduga Meninggal Karena Serangan Jantung] ]

*Garuda Indonesia Flight 238, a Boeing 737-500 registered PK-GGD bound for Semarang on February 1, 2007, collided with a Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747-300, registered TF-ATJ when doing pushback at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. None of the 96 passengers were injured. [ [ Kompas February 2007 Crash] ]

*Garuda Indonesia Flight 200, a Boeing 737-400 (registration PK-GZC) flying from Jakarta, crashed and burst into flames on landing at Adisucipto International Airport, Yogyakarta at 0700 hours on March 7, 2007. 21 people were killed. [ [,22045,5012584,00.html Daily Telegraph March 2007 Crash] ]


External links

* [ Garuda Indonesia official website]
* [ Garuda inflight magazine]
* [ GFF Junior information website]

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