Garuda Indonesia gradually re-establishing itself as a significant Asian airline; passengers up 22% in 2012 H1

One new service is from Denpasar (Bali) to Tokyo Haneda, which complements its high-frequency services to Tokyo Narita.

Although Garuda Indonesia has grown significantly in the last 12 months, Indonesia’s flag carrier has not started many new routes. One new service is from Denpasar (Bali) to Tokyo Haneda, which complements its high-frequency services to Tokyo Narita. Japan ranks as the airline’s third-biggest international market after neighbouring Singapore and Australia.

Indonesia’s flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is enjoying something of a comeback this year. Having been part of an EU blacklist that applied to all Indonesian carriers, two months ago the airline was recognized as the World’s Best Regional Airline by Skytrax, based on the results of a survey of 18 million passengers worldwide. In the fast-growing and highly competitive Indonesian domestic market, which includes carriers such as Lion Air and Indonesia AirAsia, Garuda reported a 40% growth in domestic traffic last year (to 12.2 million) while its low-cost subsidiary Citilink reported 42% growth in passengers to 1.6 million. Garuda’s international traffic was up 21% to 3.2 million.

Rapid growth maintained in 2012

In the first six months of 2012, the Garuda Indonesia group has reported continued rapid growth transporting a total of 9.6 million passengers, up 22.4% compared with the first half of 2011.

Segment Passengers
ASK (000s)
RPK (000s)
Seat load factor
Garuda domestic 6,668,603 (+18.8%) 7,226,846 (+13.9%) 5,768,996 (+19.9%) 79.8% (+4.0 pts)
Garuda international 1,764,525 (+16.5%) 9,259,057 (+9.7%) 6,589,402 (+9.1%) 71.2% (-0.4 pts)
Citilink 1,184,440 (+62.1%) 1,289,861 (+57.2%) 932,916 (+51.5%) 72.3% (-2.7 pts)
Total 9,617,568 (+22.4%) 17,775,764 (+13.9%) 13,291,314 (+15.9%) 74.8% (+1.3 pts)
Source: Garuda operating statistics (June 2012)

At the end of June, Garuda’s fleet comprised 65 narrowbody 737s (mostly -800s), while the widebody fleet consisted of three 747-400s, eight A330-200s, and six A330-300s. The Citilink fleet has more than doubled in the last 12 months with the addition of seven A320s to the existing six 737s. Its network consists of 10 domestic routes which it operates with an average of three daily flights.

International network growing slowly

Although Garuda has grown significantly in the last 12 months, it has not started that many new routes. In February, the airline began daily domestic flights between Bandung and Surabaya, and on 27 April Garuda began five weekly flights from Denpasar (Bali) to Tokyo Haneda, followed on 24 May by daily flights between Jakarta and Taipei. Last October, it transferred its domestic flights from Jakarta and Denpasar to Lombok, to the island’s new international airport. Overall, Singapore is Garuda’s leading international market with eight daily flights from Jakarta, as well as daily flights from Denpasar and four weekly flights Balikpapan.

Garuda's international network Weekly non-stop departures from Indonesian airports (Number of airports served in country)

Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 3 September 2012

Garuda flies non-stop from Indonesian airports to three different airports in Australia (Melbourne, Perth and Sydney), China (Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai) and Japan (Osaka Kansai, Tokyo Haneda and Tokyo Narita). Although the EU’s ban on Garuda Indonesia has now been lifted, the carrier’s only service to Europe is currently to Amsterdam, via Dubai, which it relaunched in June 2010. In the near future, the airline set to become a SkyTeam member plans to start services to India and add more destinations in Europe (Frankfurt, London, Paris and Rome) before targeting the US West Coast. These routes will be possible once the airline starts receiving its first 777-300ERs (due in 2013) and further A330-300s which it has on order.


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