Less than a month after state-owned carrier Garuda Indonesia signalled plans to focus on its domestic market, the airline is cautiously dipping its toes back onto the global stage with the relaunch of Melbourne-Jakarta flights in November.
Initially flying once per week from November 23, leaving Jakarta on Wednesday and returning from Melbourne on Thursday, the schedule ramps up to twice-weekly from December 3.
GA716 takes off from Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta International Airport at 9pm local time, arriving into Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport at 7:35am the next day.
On the return, GA717 is wheels up from Melbourne at 9:10am, with its Jakarta touchdown at 12:15pm leaving ample time for connecting flights to other destinations on Garuda’s network.
Ahead of the Melbourne flight, business class passengers, GarudaMiles Gold and Platinum members and their SkyTeam Elite Plus equivalents will have access to the Marhaba Lounge, due to neither Garuda nor SkyTeam operating their own facility in the Victorian capital.
The SkyTeam member will employ its long-range Airbus A330 on the renewed Melbourne leg, featuring 36 lie-flat business class seats with 16” monitors, arranged in a passenger-friendly 1-2-1 layout.
Garuda Indonesia currently flies just a handful of international routes, including a twice-weekly run from Sydney to Jakarta – Wednesday and Saturday – as well as a direct flight to Bali.
Earlier in the year, Garuda Indonesia entered into a strategic partnership with Gulf carrier Emirates, allowing its customers to access a number of additional ports across Europe and the Middle East.
Garuda Indonesia’s President & CEO, Irfan Setiaputra says “the re-opening of the Melbourne service is one of Garuda Indonesia's efforts to optimise the momentum of the national economic recovery, especially through the tourism sector.”
“Positioning Jakarta as the hub, the route is not only accommodating the demand of more diverse connectivity throughout the archipelago but also providing seamless connections to other popular Indonesian destinations such as Denpasar, Yogyakarta, Lombok, Kualanamu and Surabaya.”