Garuda postpones new London Boeing 777 service to May 2014

By David Flynn, August 1 2013
Garuda postpones new London Boeing 777 service to May 2014

Garuda Indonesia has postponed the launch of its Jakarta-London flights to May 2014, a delay of six months from the previously-planned date of November 2 this year.

The route was intended to showcase Garuda's factory-fresh flagship Boeing 777-300ER and its new first class suites, and spearhead the airline's drive to be seen as a world-class carrier.

Photo Gallery: Garuda's new Boeing 777 first class suites, business class seats

However, Garuda says that the 28 year-old runway and apron at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport are not strong enough to carry the Boeing 777 if the aircraft was to operate with a full load of passengers, cargo and fuel sufficient for the 7,300 mile flight.

The airport's operating surfaces are rated to handle only 120 tons while at full capacity the Boeing 777-300ER would require a rating of 132 tons.

With the necessary upgrading work on the runway and apron not scheduled for completion until May next year, Garuda said that the alternative to waiting was to fly the Boeing 777 with a restricted take-off weight achieved by carrying 39 fewer passengers, no cargo and less fuel, which would necessitate making a mid-flight stopover somewhere in Europe.

"The implementation of this flight with these conditions in this competitive world of air travel would have a serious effect on the operational and business requirements of this route", the airline said in a statement.

Sydney's short-term Boeing 777 service

Garuda had previously scheduled the Boeing 777 to begin flying between Sydney and Jakarta from October 27, five days prior to the launch of its London service and thus tapping into the Kangaroo Route market.

Garuda says the Boeing 777-300ER's debut on the Sydney-Jakarta route will be pushed back to November 8 but will fly that path for just under six weeks, until December 18.

"The aircraft will then be deployed to another region until our Jakarta to London service begins in 2014, when the aircraft will fly from Sydney to Jakarta and onto London direct” the airline says.

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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.

Talk about planning! I guess some things never change...


10 Sep 2011

Total posts 162

Can Indonesia be serious at all about growing its airline industry, with Garuda being a competitor to Singapore Airlines?  There are no longer transit visas, and you pay both arrival and departure fees in person.  While these fees generally don't make transit through Indonesia more costly than other ports, the way they are levied makes Indonesia an annoyance that I'd rather avoid.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Feb 2013

Total posts 13

soulds like classic indonesian incomepetence


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 732

Not sure if this is entirely to blame on GA. Who knows what they have been promised by the government on upgrading the runway prior to October? Could be that delays with the runway renovation caused the timelines to push out.

Not pretty, I must admit, but running an airline and working with airport authorities is a complex matter.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Apr 2013

Total posts 143

What is it they say about programme/project management? Something about prior planning & preparation prevents p**s poor performance... or suttin'

Qantas - QFF Platinum

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 211

Amazing that they didn't realise this when they ordered the 777-300ER


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 732

If GA will receive their 777-300ER planes as per previously planned, there is a big chance we will see them on the SYD route. I would not be able to think of another route GA can put the bird on to fill it up, esp because it will have a fair bit of premium seats which generally are only sodl on the longer routes. Although Japan routes or PEK or PVG could be an option or perhaps AUH?

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 191

Perhaps it could also have something to do with the increasingly strong rumours that BA is to re-launch London-Jakarta imminently?

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1242

How frustrating it must be for GA to come this far only to be let down by its home base airport. 

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