- Garuda to launch Jakarta-London Boeing 777 flights on May 28
- Sydney-Jakarta service upgraded to Boeing 777
- Flights to challenge Qantas for 'Kangaroo Route' passengers
Garuda Indonesia will begin its delayed Jakarta-London Boeing 777 service on May 28, with the Sydney-Jakarta leg also being upgraded to a Boeing 777-300ER jet featuring the airline's new first class cabin.
The presence of another airline crowding onto the Australia-UK market will increase the pressure on Qantas, which counts its flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London as a key revenue route.
Garuda intended its London flights to begin on November 2 last year, until the airline discovered that the runway and apron at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport were not strong enough to carry the Boeing 777 with a full load of passengers, cargo and fuel sufficient for the 7,300 mile flight.
Upgrade work on the runway and apron are scheduled for completion in May, and Garuda will be going all out for its share of the Australian market – especially premium travellers who book into business and first class.
Garuda's entry into the SkyTeam alliance on March 5 could also increase the airline's local appeal.
The Boeing 777-300ER contains eight of Garuda’s first class suites, which are the only first class offering in Garuda’s fleet.
Here's a prettier (and higher-resolution) view.
Their design is somewhat reminiscent of TAM’s B777 first class, but without that plush ‘living room in the sky’ feel.
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 that's perfect for the long overnight leg from Jakarta to London.
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, which we most recently saw on Thai Airway’s new Airbus A380.
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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