Garuda: big plans for its Boeing 777-300ER

Garuda: big plans for its Boeing 777-300ER

Garuda will use its new Boeing 777-300ER fleet to drive a ‘quantum leap’ aimed to transform the Indonesian flag-carrier into one of world’s leading airlines.

That’s a big call, even for Boeing’s big bird, but Garuda Indonesia CEO Emirsyah Satar is a man with a plan.

“This is part of our ‘quantum leap’ strategy to bring Garuda to the next level” Satar told Australian Business Traveller at the launch of the airline’s first Boeing 777-300 in Jakarta this week.

“We are focussing on expanding internationally, and we will continue to rejuvenate our fleet – right now we have one of the youngest fleets, of less than six years old.”

“We are still improving day to day with service, with food, with our service culture and all those things. The Garuda Indonesia experience will be about delivering the best of Indonesia to the world.”

Photos: Garuda’s classy new first class uniform

Most noteworthy for Garuda is that the Boeing 777-300ER marks the airline’s return to the first class market, which it abandoned in the mid-1990s during the Asian financial crisis.

“We’re back but with a different concept” Satar said. “There are better features, better technology and more of what the customer wants.”

This will range from an onboard sous chef to the opening of a new first class lounge at Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta International Airport in September and the introduction of a chauffeur service, although Satar said this would be limited to arrivals and departures at Jakarta “for the time being.”

Photo Gallery: Garuda's new Boeing 777 first class suites, business class seats

Garuda’s Boeing 777-300ER rollout

The first of ten Boeing 777-300ERs to join Garuda’s fleet will begin flying between Jakarta and the Saudi Arabian hub of Jeddah on July 9, at the start of the Muslim observance of Ramadan. A second Boeing 777-300ER is due on July 22.

However, while these will sport Garuda’s new first class and business class seats, they’ll still be fitted with the airline’s current economy seats.

A new economy design will be added to the remaining 777s, beginning with the pair which will service the Sydney and London sectors from October 27 and November 2, respectively.

While Garuda has secured landing slots at London’s Gatwick airport, the airline has its eye on shifting to Heathrow.

“We’re currently flying into Gatwick because Heathrow is quite congested during the prime time, but never the less we are also looking at Heathrow” Garuda’s Satar revealed to Australian Business Traveller.

“Let’s put it this way: we are joining SkyTeam in the first week of March 2014, and the SkyTeam terminal is at Heathrow” he said.

Satar wouldn’t be drawn on the 777’s next destinations after London, but is keen to see them take over flights currently served by Garuda’s 747s, as is the case with the Jakarta-Jeddah service.

Garuda will take delivery of a further two 777s next year, with the remaining four being handed over in 2015.

“We’re trying to move faster next year but it depends on the production line” Satar said. “We would prefer to make it sooner.”

David Flynn is attending the launch of Garuda’s new Boeing 777-30ER in Jakarta as a guest of Garuda Indonesia. 

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • Hugo


    3 Jul, 2013 09:37 am

    Welcome to ausbt: all Garuda, all the time. 

    Do Garuda's big plans for their 777-300ERs include not crashing any of them into a mountain? Because that would be nice.

    No member give thanks

  • Al Glidden


    3 Jul, 2013 11:20 am

    Hugo, that's a pretty silly and insulting question.

    And AusBT has three news stories on Garuda because they are covering this event. Maybe you just don't like that they are about Garuda? I suspect that if these stories were on BA's big plans for its A380 or B787, or Emirates considering a convertible 'all economy class' A380 or 747-8, or Cathay Pacific's new first class uniforms then you wouldn't be complaining.

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  • aklrunway


    4 Jul, 2013 02:13 pm

    I'm sorry but this was hilarious

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  • johnaboxall


    3 Jul, 2013 09:55 am

    Most noteworthy for Garuda is that they've killed ~261 passengers over the last twenty years. They'e got a lot of work to do and from a very, very low base. 

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  • johnaboxall


    3 Jul, 2013 02:04 pm

    Vote me down all you like, but it's true. 

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  • madge


    3 Jul, 2013 04:47 pm

    In the last 20 years several big airlines have had crashes ending in large numbers of fatalities - AA, KE, AF, JJ to name a few.

    Doesn't mean they are bad airlines.

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  • johnaboxall


    3 Jul, 2013 04:49 pm

    Absolutely. Only time will tell. 

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  • tonywills


    4 Jul, 2013 08:46 am

     So tronixstuff, does this mean that KLM is one of the most unsafe airlines in the world?? - One of their training pilots was responsible for the worst airline disaster in history by ploughing his 747 into a Pan Am 747 in Teneriffe.

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  • KG


    3 Jul, 2013 10:11 am

    I wished they would start with ensuring their website works properly, have seen several updates over the past months but seem not to be able to look up any fares witouth encountering errors....

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  • kash


    3 Jul, 2013 03:17 pm

    While Garuda has made drastic changes, I do not think anyone can call it a top Asian airline, it is still no where near SQ or CX who have refined their high end services for decades


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  • tonywills


    4 Jul, 2013 08:41 am

    Yes and during that time SQ killed many people by taking off on the incorrect runway!!!???

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  • Craig Dennington


    5 Jul, 2013 11:24 am

    The same "we are going to be the biggest Asian Airline" has been muttered from the CEO at MAS too. 

    So there will be a shoot out between Garuda, Cathay, Singapore and Malaysian to be the biggest and best. 

    Not withholding China Southern, China Eastern, EVA, Korean etc etc etc

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  • Des


    5 Jul, 2013 12:26 pm

    I'm sorry, but I must admit that I had a laugh at what Hugo said. I think it would take more than just new aircraft for me to fly Garuda.

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  • Jboi777


    7 Jul, 2013 12:38 am

    Such as ....?

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  • Aldi


    10 Jul, 2013 01:38 am

    Those who commented on Garuda's fleet maintenance are simply ignorant bunch of people. Garuda's fleets are maintained by Garuda Maintenance Facility AeroAsia (GMF AeroAsia) which also maintains planes of Qantas, KLM, China Airlines, Korean Air, AirAsia, JAL, MAS and many more airlines. It is certified by FAA, Singapore's CAAS, EASA and many more national certifications agencies around the world. 

    Basically, if you think that flying GA is unsafe, you are saying that flying on Qantas, KLM, MAS, JAL, KE, CI, CA, QF, etc ex-Indonesia are unsafe since they all use the same maintenance provider; Garuda Aero Asia. 

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  • spudseamus


    4 Sep, 2013 04:23 pm

    I think the comments were more directed at those flying the plane than the maintenance on the ground .

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  • Aldi


    4 Sep, 2013 06:20 pm

    In case you don't know, when GA stopped most of its European destinations in the 90s, SQ poached GA widebodies' pilots. :) Must be the first time you heard that SQ employed ex-GA pilot since SQ will never publicize this to maintain its 'safe' image (safe includes taking off on the wrong runway and pilot committing suicide mid-air).

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21 Jul, 2019 04:29 am


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