Garuda Indonesia returns to Melbourne

The Indonesian flag-carrier appears to have shaken off its international jitters and now plans to regrow its Australian network.

By Chris Ashton, October 12 2022
Garuda Indonesia returns to Melbourne

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.

More to more than 10 million people, central Jakarta is a constant hive of activity.
More to more than 10 million people, central Jakarta is a constant hive of activity.

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.”

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1175

Garuda's limited fleet means it has to operate MEL-CGK with an A333 which is too much plane to relaunch the route hence the limited frequency.  The MAX8 would have been ideal for this route but I believe the order from Garuda was cancelled in the wake of the Lion crash.  

Garuda has been forced into a deed of arrangement to reorganise it debts post-pandemic.  Boeing refused to participate in the scheme whereas Airbus agreed.  This makes it likely that any future narrowbody order will probably be an A320NEO which would also be able to do MEL-CGK.

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 25

In an interesting situation : have flight credits Melbourne to Bali : have been told to wait till late October 

Now the flights are to Jakarta on days that do not  match our booking in Bali    I have just read that refunds finished September 30 th but was told to wait through Melbourne office to late October !!

Any advice ?

Mike

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 178

As a regular to DPS & CGK, I quite enjoy Garuda and the Bus Class. Importantly, flight times are much better than QF. Landing during the afternoon is a winner. I hope we see them back regularly SYD-DPS & CGK


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