By Willy Suryawan
I was taking GA flight from Jakarta to Padang. It was 17th August - The Independence day for Indonesia - the flight attendants served me a slice of tiramisu cake for my dessert and choccolate written with "Dirgayahu Republik Indonesia - Happy Birthday Indonesia!" . It was an indulging experience.
I love traveling. Hence, I'd like to observe the aviation world and sometimes I visited their forum and read the reviews from travellers around the world regarding their experience about their flight. Most of the former passenggers enjoyed their flight experience with Garuda Indonesia. They gave excellent reviews and recommended to fly with Garuda.
Garuda, has really come in very long way to transform in the last few years. I considered the Garuda Indonesia transformation is a success story. Its transformation is something that we should aspire to. We remember the era when GA ( including all Indonesian aircrafts) was banned to fly through European airspaces for some period due to not meet with safety procedures. And now, they offer a direct flight from Jakarta to Schiphol, Amsterdam - a great hub to many cities in Europe-. Even now, they recently fly to Gatwick,London. They purchased more Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER and they massively expand their routes in South East Asia region. Those are big steps.
In early 21st centuries, when we mentioned Garuda, our European and American colleagues would thought an airline from third world countries like Congo, or New Guineae, but Now, Garuda Indonesia is enlisted as one of the best world airline (by Skytrax) and now becoming a big competitor for Singapore airlines in SouthEast Asia.
And as Indonesian, how should we see their success story?
I think we should be joyful to see their remarkable improvement . Garuda, is a government-run-company. Not only it is the Airline of Indonesia, but it is also the SPIRIT of Indonesia. It brought us the OPTIMISM. it gave us some confidence that our government - in some particular areas - can do an excellent job, and we - as a nation - could rise and becoming a notable nation and country.
We have been fed up for more any bad news about Indonesia. We need some evidence that we could do a great job and Garuda Indonesia transformation is a great example. Garuda has changed from an underdog in the aviation world, to become a great deal. And we believe also, Indonesia - as a country - will too.