Garuda Indonesia will launch its own take on the Kangaroo Route between Australia and London, with a stopover in Jakarta, in November this year.
Flights will commence on November 2nd and are now open for bookings.
Garuda's brand new Boeing 777-300ER jet – featuring First, Executive business class and economy class – will run five times a week on the Sydney-Jakarta leg.
There will also be four connecting flights each week out of Melbourne, and five from Perth.
To streamline the connections at Jakarta, Garuda is also changing the timetable for Sydney, Melbourne and Perth flights.
Travellers from Sydney will see the shortest stopover at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (airport code CGK), at just over 1.5 hours.
That stretches to 2 hours if you're heading up from Melbourne, and almost 3.5 hours from Perth.
Brisbanites are in for a long wait, as Garuda doesn't offer direct flights to Jakarta. Your journey will stop at Denpasar, and after three hours you'll be off to Jakarta, only to face eight hours waiting for the daily London service.
It's no stretch to suggest that most Brisbane travellers will either hop a domestic flight to Sydney and join the direct-to-Jakarta flight, or give Garuda a miss entirely.
"The launch of direct flights from Jakarta to London is an incredibly exciting venture for Garuda Indonesia, and with our new 777 aircraft, we are offering our passengers a premium aircraft together with our award-winning Garuda Indonesia Experience" said Bagus Y. Siregar, Vice President for Garuda Indonesia Australia.
"From November, passengers will leave Australia in the evening and relax through the night, before arriving in London in the morning.”
Garuda's Jakarta-London flights will also use a Boeing 777-300ER, which will be equipped with inflight Internet and an on-board chef to keep first class passengers well fed and watered on the journey's longer leg.
The London end of the route is anchored at Gatwick rather than Heathrow.
The city's smaller second airport is not only less crowded than Heathrow but can be more convenient for business travellers, especially if you're heading for the eastern side of London, with direct trains to the city's financial hub and faster connections on to Docklands.
Updates to Gatwick include new lounges, premium fast-track security and increasingly upmarket restaurants in the departures hall (Jamie Oliver's Italian place is well worth a stop).
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