Garuda: May 28 debut for new Boeing 777 first class on Sydney-London

By David Flynn, January 23 2014
Garuda: May 28 debut for new Boeing 777 first class on Sydney-London

  • 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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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.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 529

That will put pressure on the rubbish Qantas A330 flights to CGK.

I'm not sure I would fly them to London... Mainly because CGK is such an awful airport to transit through but the Garuda product offering on this plane looks great.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2209

Failing to buy/lease more A330-300s and failing to put the Marc Newson products for Business, Premium Economy and Economy on the International A330-300s was the biggest letdown by Qantas on its Asian routes.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1248

That's an impressive looking F product from GA. They've certainly come a long way.

Is anyone putting bets on that date?

Will Garuda Indonesia have the same flight number for both SYD - CGK and CGK - LGW?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Sep 2013

Total posts 467

Yet another airline up grades service,again to Asia and beyond as QF sits by.More revenue lost.

17 Feb 2012

Total posts 121

AusFlyer-  the 'rubbish' A330 flights Qantas uses - really?  They will have a leading new Business product introduced from the end of the year and having been on these aircraft to Singapore - the J class product is fine... Certainly not rubbish.  The endless Qantas bashing is getting old. 

21 Apr 2011

Total posts 42

QF will start rolling out a "leading" Business product towards the end of 2014 which will finally bring them at par with their regional competitors. To term QF A330's as "rubbish" is hardly inaccurate when you compare them to the competing products. Heck, even their flagship J product fails to provide direct aisle access which every comparable airline does on its own flagship products. 

The endless Qantas bashing may well be getting old but is not out of place, nor is it ill deserved.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2209

The Qantas A330-300s used to CGK are disgraceful. They should have been refurbished with the A380 product three years ago.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 168

3-3-3 in economy good against EK, EY, AA, NZ, OS, AF/KL, AC, AZ and JJ believing (probably correctly) that people will tolerate the squeeze.

Meanwhile, SQ, BA, CX, NH, JL, TG, MY, QR and UA maintain a civilised 3-3-3 (or 2-5-2 or 2-4-3) configuration.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1248

This is a great post to use for Y-seating reference.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543

Since it's prestigous "World's Most Improved Airline" in 2010, it has been one of the best airlines in terms of comfort.


04 Nov 2010

Total posts 671

That's a bit of a strange statement Alvin. "World's Most Imrpoved Airline" covers a LOT of ground, not just comfort, and it depends on who gave it the award, if it was SKYTRAX then forget about that as those awards are effectively bought by airlines!

If we use business class as our measure, the photos show Garuda's 777 to have the same business class as several other airlines, as the article says.

I find Cathay Pacific has a much better business class, Qatar also looks very good too. Which particular airlines did you have in mind Alvin and how many of them have you flown to make that statement?

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543

Hey, I said that this was one of the best, not the best,

24 Jan 2014

Total posts 1

I personally think that Garuda should be congratulated on what can be described as one of the best turnarounds of an airline. Remember this airline was banned from Europe and also the laughing stock of the airline world. As a European based Australian I would definitely look at taking this flight home. Well done Garuda!!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Aug 2013

Total posts 139

Agreed. When I was a commercial account exec at AN we used to joke frequently that you had to pay extra for Garuda fares if you wanted to fly with a roof...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 14

Totally agree Digby, as an expat living and working in Jakarta and flying all over the Indonesian Archipelago weekly, I can’t speak highly enough of Garuda.

The planes are young (excluding A330-3 / 747-4), clean and comfortable, the staff are attentive, helpful and go out of their way to ensure a pleasant experience.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 260

There are some trip reports online of the CGK-NRT vv flights. The F service looks phenomenal, hard and soft product.

09 Sep 2012

Total posts 139

Mr Flynn has done an exemplary job yet again in providing a useful service to a minority, however it would have been more accurate to state that Garuda will be going all out for its share of the Sydney market.

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