Garuda axes Brisbane-Denpasar (Bali) flights

By Chris Chamberlin , January 12 2015
Garuda axes Brisbane-Denpasar (Bali) flights

SkyTeam member Garuda will cease flying to Queensland from February 1 with the termination of its direct Brisbane-Denpasar services.

Axed as part of a new network-wide restructure dubbed the Quick Wins Program, a weakening Indonesian Rupiah and "other factors which have impacted the performance of international airlines globally" are just two reasons given for the route's demise.

From Denpasar, Brisbane passengers could connect onwards to Beijing, Dili, Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo, and domestically within Indonesia to cities such as Jakarta and Surabaya.

Tokyo will remain on Garuda's map, although flights to Haneda Airport from both Denpasar and Jakarta will be reduced as part of the revamp, with the introduction of new routes such as Jakarta-Nagoya delayed.

Passengers booked on Brisbane-Denpasar flights (GA721/720) after February 1 are advised to contact Garuda on 1300 365 330 to make alternate travel arrangements.

Garuda's Brisbane services are currently operated by a Boeing 737-800 aircraft with both business class and economy. Flights to other Australian cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are unaffected.

Competitor Jetstar commenced Brisbane-Denpasar services on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in April last year, with Virgin Australia also flying its own Boeing 737-800 to Denpasar from Brisbane.

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 197

Quick Wins Program indeed. Two of the reasons given are nonsense:
Fuel costs have not been rising for months. 
A weakening Indonesian Rupiah would actually benefit inbound travel to DPS.

Seems like more likely that JQ's huge increase in seats has meant that GA can't compete.

 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jun 2014

Total posts 174

100% agree that JQ has alot to do with it.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 448

I thought GA operated a wide-body on this route. MEL is going to be a bloodbath if AA get approval to fly - 4 carriers competing for the same pax.

Unfortunately no wide-body for Brisbane – Sydney and Melbourne get Garuda's A330-200 on the Jakarta flights, however.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

Yes, there would be Garuda, AirAsia, Jetstar and Virgin. To borrow from Taylor Swift, it's going to be forever or it's going to go down in flames - either they'll all balance out the pie or it'll be a free-for-all with clear losers (and in that space, I expect VA to be the first to die of blood loss).

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

And Perth a daily A330-300

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

Sorry, only on DPS flights.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 323

SYD and MEL also get the A330 on Garuda's DPS flights too.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1256

Who are the 4 carriers from MEL? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

Oh, these are:

  1. Garuda Indonesia
  2. Jetstar International
  3. AirAsia Extra
  4. Virgin Australia International

Sorted in descending order of comfort.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 345

LOL agree

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1256

When I saw AA, I think I had a different interpretation to its meaning.

12 Mar 2014

Total posts 46

Same here with AA interpretation 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

Seems weird to put LCC Jetstar ahead of VA - true Jetstar flies an internationally configured 787 to a domestic config VA 737-800, but slightly more in seats stats for VA than JQ. JQ, except during big sales, charges more for their flights too. Can't comment about Garuda or AirAsia as I've not flown those airlines, but I've flown JQ Int Starclass and Economy before and consider VA's domestic product beats it on comfort (even if it's drier air in the cabin). JQ only makes sense if they happen to be offering EasyJet type sale fares, and you are budget constrained by choice. I'm travelling that sector soon, so I'll certainly be putting it to the test again.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

I would say the JQi 787 vs the 738 is everything.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

Any expansion on that? (It doesn't really explain anything). I'm sure the airline benefits from the efficiencies of a 787, but as a pax are wider windows and a more efficient air circulation huge contributors? I'm sure they help, but I imagine most people prefer an included meal, more streamlined ground processing (Jetstar are the pits for International check-in), cheaper flexible fare pricing. And too bad if you want a direct flight on Tuesday (only Garauda and VA offer full week, although AirAsia Extra fly the least here).

And, I for one, am happy to avoid a three abreast Business/Starclass seat. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

To avoid confusion, Starclass includes meals but not Economy (you have to prebook and pay extra) on this sector, and the three abreast in Starclass is for the centre seats (you can try and pick the window seats, but may be shuffled to the middle by the airline anyway as happened to me, so there is alway a risk).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

Yes, but then in favour of Jetstar you have the widebody aircraft, which people see as more premium and more comfortable, you have the ability to choose what meals to order, you have more bathrooms, you have cool window thingies, and so on. In Business, both airlines run recliners but JQ has a footrest and VA doesn't, being designed for domestic use and all.

Ultimately, it boils down to a subjective judgement, and I should note that some considerations are more important on a redeye back (like the footrest) and some are more important on the flight out (like the meals).

But the thing about the Bali route is that most of the passengers aren't really into debating the ups and downs of seating configurations, so this is mostly theoretical as most of these customers will simply chase the cheapest fare.

In my personal case, we wanted to avoid this entire hoopla and so put the Bali part of the trip before Jakarta so we could exit the country via that port.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

Thanks for expanding further on your thoughts watson374 - it helps understand where you are coming from. I agree with you on pricing (especially on Economy) which is why I was surprised that JQ is more expensive here (for Economy and Business, particularly Business), except for the intermittent early sale discounts that JQ run from time to time. 

When I travel to Indonesia it's almost always to CGK on QF, which I'd preference over all (especially if and when QF give that A330 a refurb, but generally it's the crew that regularly turn up on that flight that make it a pleasure - really great people those regulars) - even though this requires an annoying SYD transfer stop. However, since we don't have that option on the bucket and spade route of DPS, other choices are necessary.

I'm most swayed personally by a smaller business section, because as I've found that this often leads to more personal interaction with your FA/s, and I'm appreciative of the absolute avoidance of Economy Plus style three across seating (as per the seating sets in Economy) of that Starclass centre config.

I like the Dreamliner, but it's not as influential to me as other factors

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

My pleasure, although I should really be in bed.

I think it's more to do with VA needing to discount more deeply to draw people to its 738s more than Jetstar being more expensive. I'd also note that ex-MEL and ex-SYD, JQ would appear to be the strongest player overall in terms of the sheer number of seats they are moving each week.

I would probably have been swayed more by the novelty of a Dreamliner than the novelty of doing a six-hour red-eye in a domestic 738, but we all have our reasons and results.

In any case, I ended up tacking on a SIN section to my trip, coming back on QF36 which was much better. Tangentially, I must say I find complex routings that add flight time are good for these overnight flights. If I had done it ex-DPS I would probably have been so shattered I wouldn't have been able to start my pancake thread.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

You and me both lol (but it's always tempting to catch up on AusBT). That's it's not long haul (or Coast to Coast) configured no doubt plays a part on pricing, I just don't typically come across LCCs charging more than their full service competitors (but then JQs real price is always it's sale prices anyway, it's standard pricing is a convenience levy/tax, but it's all I had when I've checked for comparison a couple of times in Dec last year and this month).

With travelling I just want to get there and back, so appreciate direct services, particularly when they align to my typical timings (arriving late afternoon, departing afternoons). I will arrange time for a small number of lounges though. Will be interesting to see DPS now they've tidied up the airport - not expecting much, but any improvement welcome.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

No doubt it's unusual, but I think it's just a product of JQ being the strongest player there.

DPS is now a very nice airport but I only arrived domestically so I don't know how bad international arrivals is. Having done Bali, I don't think I'll be back anytime soon...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

I've just completed a Bali/DPS trip on VA (VA51/VA54). The International Terminal at DPS is pretty decent now. I found the VA51 flight quite good - excellent service (thanks Ross!) and everything else adequate to good for the 6 hour flight involved (loading was about 75-80% in Economy, and about 40% in Business). My return on VA54 was just ok, service in J was a bit off the norm but no major failings, J catering was weird (but Y did well, better than what we got offered), and aircraft was full in both Y and J.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

I notice VA54 is a red-eye. How'd you cope?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

My flight back was longer than scheduled due to bad weather, so 6 hours back as well. Not unsurprisingly, I didn't sleep (as it's extremely rare I do while flying, and then usually little better than resting, even with a full lie flat or even a SQ Suite dedicated bed) and passed the time watching movies and a few episodes of that Allison Janney comedy vehicle "Mom" (I quite like Allison, ever since her CJ days on West Wing).

For this duration, the seating is pleasant enough in my assessment, as I wasn't uncomfortable and didn't have any aggravation of my injury. Nearly all of the other J pax were sleeping throughout the flight, so they seemed comfortable enough to drop into slumber for practically the entirety of the flight.

J catering was the biggest let down (but not a major disaster) on that red-eye service (although it was quite decent on the trip over), with Y pax doing much better than J (they got a real meal, with a choice of two dishes, whereas J was offered only one soup dish, supplemented by a cake slice and bread roll, but still sub-par here - Qantas are not the only ones to confuse an entrée dish with a main dish, as well as sometimes offering Y better dishes than they are giving J lol). There was a breakfast meal as well, but again no choice (muesli, with fresh fruit bowl) for J (not sure what they handed out for Y, as they weren't making announcements in order not to disturb the sleeping beauties, but I did see the meal cart running the aisle back there so something was on offer). Snack dishes on request, on the way over to DPS, included ribbon chicken sandwiches but the best they could do on the red eye was some Pringles chips

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jun 2013

Total posts 367

Jetstar definitly had its effect on Garuda Airlines 

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 303

A Bit disappointing.I wonder if people still go to Bali for holidays apart from the Yearly School Leavers lot or whether most of them have since switched to South Pacific Cruising which might have a little to do with this decision by Garuda.I admit for a service on Jetstar when it first started ex Brisbane was a one stop on an A320 via DARWIN in 2008 It was a huge jump in seats with the switch to the 787 nonstop not so long ago.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Apr 2013

Total posts 7

you are spot on!!! all the school leavers from 10,20,30 years ago still go there 

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 303

It wasn't that common for School Leavers in the Nineties to go there.In fact I am from Adelaide and back in my time doing it locally with a friends beach house down the coast somewhere was acceptable.I was during the time schoolies took place last year always dropping to the airport and counting how many 2014 graduates would be on the planes going over.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

There was the A330 era, too.


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