Garuda begins direct London-Jakarta flights, switches to Heathrow

By David Flynn, February 1 2016
Garuda begins direct London-Jakarta flights, switches to Heathrow

Garuda Indonesia will begin direct flights from London's Heathrow Airport to Jakarta on March 31, ditching the current stop-over in Amsterdam and also shifting from London's Gatwick Airport in favour of the Heathrow hub.

However, there'll now be stop-over in Singapore on the outbound Jakarta-London leg instead of flying that leg direct.

It's understood this is due to the inability of the runways at Jakarta's Soekarno–Hatta International Airport to handle the Boeing 777-300ER when fully laden with fuel, necessitating that fuel-stop in Singapore.

Garuda Indonesia has been approached for comment.

As part of the move, the Indonesian flag carrier and SkyTeam member will boost the Jakarta-London flights to run five times per week, up from the current three-day roster, with departures every day except Mondays and Fridays.

Garuda Indonesia has yet to advise of flight times, although tickets are expected to be on sale from later this month.

Inside Garuda's Boeing 777-300ER

Garuda Indonesia's flagship Boeing 777-300ER boasts eight first class suites.

The suites are arranged in a 1-2-1 layout – the middle pair have a slide-up screen for privacy if you're flying solo, but it also makes for a good companion arrangement when you're travelling with a friend.

Each seat gets a 23 inch screen with full video-on-demand.

You’ll also find a personal wardrobe for each passenger...

... and ample storage space in a concealed compartment under the armrest.

The wide seats recline into a fully flat bed.

At the not-so-pointy end of the plane are 38 ‘Executive Class’ business class seats.

These are a more familiar design – they’re the staggered Solstys model from EADS Sogerma.

Down the back of the bus are 268 economy seats in a 3-3-3 layout.

From tip to tail, Garuda’s Boeing 777-300ER boasts wireless Internet and live TV including English Premier League matches.

This video from Garuda presents the highlights of its Boeing 777-300ER passenger experience.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 441

Quite embarassing that one of the worlds largest cities' - airport can't handle a heavily laden 77W.

29 Mar 2014

Total posts 78

It's not just one of the - if you include the Jabodetabek metro area, Jakarta is the second largest in the world, behind Tokyo-Yokohama. And given that CGK is pretty much the only airport in the city (HLP is nothing more than an afterthought), it really is quite embarassing.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 128

Population is irrelevant.  Nigeria has a population 7x that of Australia, but which country's the bigger player on the world stage?

Substandard infrastructure is nothing new in the Third World.  It's hard to justify spending millions on new runways when a good chunk of the population lives on a few dollars a day.  Not that it stops many officials from trying!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 441

And to contradict your post, you have Mumbai, Delhi, Cairo, Johannesburg, Cape Town (to name a few) which are equally poor or poorer, and are cities in countries which have a lower or higher population, yet have A380/747/777 services.

Garuda should be applauded for going 3-3-3 in Economy class on their 777-300ER. Good for them!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 385

If they could get consistency and stop changing plans etc every 6-12 months, they might become a good airline. There 777 looks great.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Dec 2011

Total posts 94

I can only speak for Melbourne, but a MEL to LHR via Jakarta. Has a long lay over time or goes via Bali. They did plan to go Mel to Jak to London with a 3 hour stopover a couple of years ago. They made a complete stuffup of it, and all bookings were cancelled. So I will be interested in their new planned route.

I too am looking forward to this, there's little to crow about when it comes to Gatwick. The lounge there is like a trucker's cafe with food to match, you know, the cripy curled edges to the sandwiches and dishwater coffee. That aside check-in and security have historically (for me) been cleared in no time so there's a minor plus there. Beyond that a fairly miserable experience, so LHR's transport accessibility and the Skyteam lounge will be a welcome departure, literally.

I doubt the switch will affect the layover times at CGK though when travelling from Melbourne, I've been holed up there before for 11 hours and their lounge, although comfortable, lacks the gastronomic flair of other carrier lounges.

It's a pity really, if they got their shit together on the ground the whole experience would be five stars. Their on-board service on the 777 to Europe is stellar and the business class 1-2-1 seating more than comfortable and private for me. Coupled with on-board wi-fi, top notch food, attentive yet non-intrusive cabin crew and a good price point I think the business product is terrific  - it has held me as a loyal customer for years now in spite of some of their shortcomings.

All in all I think the change from AMS to Changi is a good one. There's the distinct possibility that one could avoid CGK and DPS with their long layovers altogether by hopping on a Singapore bound codeshare with the likes of KLM.



Their website is not currently reflecting these changes. Still shows as 777 to AMS with a KLM connector to LHR,

29 Mar 2014

Total posts 78

"Tickets will go on sale later this month"

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 113

Skyteam lounge at Heathrow is not worth the effort. Too many over weight Americans dressed in chinos and trainers eating from a pretty misserable buffet.

Oh Lord. Crushed.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

01 Feb 2016

Total posts 1

I tried AMS to CGK return on GA Biz class few years ago outstanding for the price and quality only few hundreds USD difference than the cattle jam packed economy class of SQ, MAS, and KLM.  

The original Jakarta (CGK) airport design capacity 22 million passengers/yr (38m after renovations and expansions). As the fastest growing region in the world at 10-15% increase of passengers/yr CGK runs triple its intended capacity, 68-70m passengers in 2015, making it the 8th busiest airport in the world (25-30m over capacity) this causing congestion and hours of delays. As everything else in Jakarta the supporting infrastructure construction is slow to catch up with the passenger growth due to land acquisition & permits. The existing two runways are heavily over utilized and incapable of handling A380 let alone fully load 777 so expect hours of delay in CKG in coming years until the new T3 expansion open in EO2016 with the third runway (? ). I hope.

29 Mar 2014

Total posts 78

It's understood overcapacity isn't a problem with the runways but instead less efficient ATC, and the aged terminals. Heathrow and Dubai both run many million more passengers a day with the same two runways, and with a bit of help, as well as the opening of the new T3U in May (full opening is scheduled of end of the year), I see no reason why CGK can't get its **** together before the third runway opens in 2018 (so they say).

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 128

The old routing had the advantage of serving Amsterdam as well as London, important given the historic ties between Indonesia and the Netherlands.  Amsterdam also offered the possibility of connections to other European destinations on their SkyTeam partner KLM.  Garuda will now have to fill the plane exclusively with London traffic, which may prove to be more challenging.  

Australia-UK will certainly be a good chunk of the business, but it certainly won't command a premium given all the competitors offering one-stop options through nicer hubs.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

08 Aug 2014

Total posts 39

Landing at Jakarta once is one of my most colourful travel memories... Next to a line of taxiing aircraft was a chain-link fence and beyond, a padi field with an old farmer  plodding along, completely undisturbed by jet noise, behind his water buffalo as it dragged a plough. In the background was a cluster of palm trees and a kampong made from rusty old corrugated iron. Extreme contrast: 21st-century technology and timeless agriculture.

08 May 2016

Total posts 1

[Deleted by admin - unrelated to the article.]

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

20 Dec 2013

Total posts 31

I am booked one way MEL-LHR in business in June 2018. There is no mention in the flight details on GA's website that GA86 has a stopover in SIN. However, when I type GA86 into Google it sure does show the flight stopping over in SIN. What a pain and how embarrassing for GA and the nation of Indonesia that their runways can't cope with a fully laden B777-300!

I've done the MEL-LHR route a fair bit and it's not that painful via Singapore. That aside, I'm booked mid December '17 on GA86 during Garuda's northern winter timetable.

The service is non-stop CGK-LHR.

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