Indonesian national carrier Garuda Indonesia is growing fast and is preparing now to enter the global alliance Skyteam by the first quarter of 2014, explains Ryanto Winarso, General Manager of Garuda for West Sumatra. “Garuda is looking to maximize its presence through Skyteam. It requested many adjustments but it is worth to give us the needed global exposure that we need”, he said. Among the requirements asked by Skyteam is the compatibility of IT with the rest of Skyteam airlines. Garuda is now moving its reservation system from its own platform to Amadeus Altea, adopted by all Skyteam carriers. This translated for example for passengers with the online-check-in restrictions, which is only possible for now out of Jakarta. However, internet check in is due to be available again from December. “Another requirement for us was the introduction of a first class product, a request also from Skytrax to be a four-star carrier. We just did it and offer our new first class product to Japan”, indicated Mr. Winarso.
Along new routes that Garuda is due to introduce in 2014 is a new flight to London from Jakarta.”Airport’s authority are now working on reinforcing the runway before we start next May. We will also launch our own frequencies to Manila. Until today, we only fly Manila in code-share with Philippine Airlines”, said Ryanto Winarso. Meanwhile, they are also more regional frequencies to be added out of Sumatra. “Medan is now turning into a regional hub. We now plan more flights as it also helps to relieve pressure on our main hub in Jakarta, which is increasingly suffering from congestion”, added Garuda Manager. Garuda is now flying from Medan to Jakarta, Palembang, Padang, Batam and Bandah Aceh. It launched also this summer a new route to Penang in Malaysia. “We could also envision flying from Padang to Singapore either via Pekanbaru or Medan. However a non-stop service is not sustainable due to the limited passengers’ potential”, explained Mr. Winarso. The introduction of new regional aircraft such as the Bombardier CRJ 100 and the ATR 72 will help developing point-to-point Sumatra routes. New flights could for example link Padang to Jambi. In the longer term, Garuda would then offer a comprehensive Trans-Sumatra network, helping to finally link efficiently all large Sumatran metropolises.