Garuda finally launches non-stop Jakarta-London flights

Garuda finally launches non-stop Jakarta-London flights

Garuda Indonesia has finally upgraded its Jakarta-London route to a non-stop service, although cost-cutting measures could see the airline abandon first class on its flagship Boeing 777-300ER jets which ply the route.

The SkyTeam member previously flew the Jakarta-London leg via Singapore, but as of October 31 deep-sixed that stopover to commence direct flights running three days a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays:

  • GA86 departs Jakarta at 12.05pm to reach London Heathrow at 8pm
  • GA87 leaves London at 9.55pm to arrive into Jakarta at 6.55pm the following day

Connections from Australia, however, leave much to be desired: for example, Garuda's flight from Sydney arrives at 3pm, a few hours after the flight to London has already left, so you're in for an overnight stay at Jakarta – which could mean spending several hours each way in the infamous airport-city traffic snarl.

The Boeing 777-300ER contains eight first class suites, which are the only first class offering in Garuda’s fleet.

The suites are arranged in a 1-2-1 layout – the middle pair have a slide-up screen for privacy if you're flying solo, but it also makes for a good companion arrangement when you're travelling with a friend. 

Each suite gets a 23 inch video screen, a personal wardrobe for each passenger and ample storage space in a concealed compartment under the armrest.

The wide seats recline into a fully flat bed that's perfect for the long overnight leg from Jakarta to London.

At the not-so-pointy end of the plane are 38 ‘Executive Class’ business class seats in a staggered layout.

From tip to tail, Garuda’s Boeing 777-300ER boasts wireless Internet and live TV including English Premier League matches.

However, Nikkei Asian Review reports that Garuda could ditch first class in an effort to stem losses.

Having already withdrawn first class from flights to Tokyo, Nikkei Asian Review suggests that "while Garuda plans to keep first class on other routes, such as those between Indonesia and Europe, for the time being, the company is also considering a plan to eliminate the top-end seats entirely and use the space they occupy for more profitable business class seats instead."

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

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.
 

5 Comments

  • John Wilmore

    J Wilmore

    10 Nov, 2017 10:04 am

    Hope they don't ditch First, I have a Business class booking in June with them to LHR and a First upgrade is only about $350.
    ......And the Jakarta-London flight is a daytime service.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    10 Nov, 2017 09:01 pm

    @J Wilmore:
    "a First upgrade is only about $350"
    No wonder GA is considering to eliminate F. No way this kinda prices for F upgrade is econ sustainable and if they hv to go with upgrade charge this low to fill F cabin, demand for their F tickets(not upgrade) must be practically non-existent.
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  • Dave

    Grannular

    10 Nov, 2017 01:19 pm

    Wasn't the route via Singapore due to the Jakarta runway unable to handle a fuel heavy 777? Has update works been completed?
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  • Orus Picarous

    oruspicarous

    10 Nov, 2017 03:27 pm

    I believe it was via Amsterdam and went into LGW.
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  • bloatedstoat

    bloatedstoat

    10 Nov, 2017 03:33 pm

    The Heathrow service out of Jakarta stopped in Singapore on the outward only.

    The Jakarta to LGW service stopped in Amsterdam on the outward and the return.

    I thought this was more to do with taking on board additional passengers in Singapore as opposed to the 777 load though, although this is pure speculation on my part.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    10 Nov, 2017 10:39 pm

    @bloatedstoat:
    "I thought this was more to do with taking on board additional passengers in Singapore..."
    Hv U also thought about how GA get every 1 of those pax back to SIN? A major problem for GA is the fare level has to go how low to entice pax boarding fm SIN willing to return to SIN only via CGK. Regardless of whether U originate fm LHR, CGK or SIN, your intercon GA roundtrip always included 1 intermediate stop.

    I imagine it's a biz(i.e. 5th freedom traffic) GA want to get out of asap because:
    1. Can't earn non-stop premium for CGK-LHR mkt=
    GA had been stuck to compete against @ least 20 competitors in the lower yield 1stop CGK-LHR/LGW mkt.
    2. Even the nonstop SIN-LHR/LGW mkt is getting crowded=
    Already up against 3 others including LCC expert Norwegian, QF will join(well, rejoin) the same party fm Mar18. In total, this will generate upto 8x daily capacity in that mkt not counting GA's. SIN-London is a huge intercon trunk but not that huge....
    3. Unlike everyone else, GA has practically no connecting feed @ either end of SIN-LHR=
    QF hv AU connections by QF +Asia connections by JetStar @ SIN.
    SQ hv all connections by SQ+Silk+Scoot @ SIN
    BA hv all connections @ LHR
    Even Norwegian hv a decent hub @ LGW.
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  • AJW

    AJW

    11 Nov, 2017 09:57 am

    The Singapore stop was because of weight restrictions at Jakarta airport. The runway has now been strengthened so non stop is possible now.

    The Stop in AMS was when they were establishing the route and was to tick of two destinations with one flight.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    10 Nov, 2017 09:46 pm

    @Grannular:
    It was. At MTOW(i.e. with full payload+fuel load), 77W has the highest pavement loading per wheel(i.e. a high PCN rating) among all widebody types in op today. CGK had a long time issues re lack of maintenance/pavement strength not just for rwys but also for taxiways and gate pavements which wasn't apparent until heavily loaded 77W showed up(77Ws of other operators there are fine as they go with lesser fuel load/payload than GA). I recall a few yrs ago when GA 1st inducted 77W in ops, 1 was sunk a bit into the pavement while parked....it was that bad.

    With this launch of CGK->LHR nonstop, I assume the airfield upgrade @ CGK has been completed.
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  • bloatedstoat

    bloatedstoat

    10 Nov, 2017 03:28 pm

    I'm doing this next month. The Melbourne leg (GA717) departs at 7:30am with a 90 minute break in Jakarta before the London sector at 12:05. The return has a 2 hour break in Jakarta before the Melbourne leg so all in all much more palatable than their previous schedule which was really awkward.

    I thought this schedule was only a temporary arrangement though called the "Northern winter timetable"?

    As for ditching First, that would be a pity, I for one believe it's a stellar product; the suites are extremely well appointed, the service exemplary and the beds very, very comfortable. The cellar is respectable and the food not too bad, a little hit and miss but I am really happy with their overall First experience and as such will lament its loss.

    That said I was the only passenger up front outward and one of two on the return on my recent trip to London so if it's empty most of the time I can understand reclaiming the space for business which always seems well occupied.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    10 Nov, 2017 11:49 pm

    @bloatedstoat:
    "I for one believe it's a stellar product"
    IMHO, even better than SQ's F on 77W and on-par with EK's F on 77W. I suspect it was planned @ such high std partly because Indonesian gov't often charter GA for official state visits including by their head of state....yes, your F suite might hv been used by the president himself previously for stuff like APEC summits and ASEAN parties.

    "I was the only passenger up front outward and one of two on the return"
    No cabin can survive 25% avg load factor on a yr-round basis in today's industry environment....not even for carriers underwritten by gov't like GA.

    To be fair, GA committed to the current F suite config on 77W over 7yrs ago when the Indonesian economy was absolutely roaring thx mainly to the China-driven resource sector boom(similar happened for W.A.)...there were some logics to hv 8 F suites back then.

    "if it's empty most of the time I can understand reclaiming the space for..."
    And aligning with the trend of drastic downsizing /ditching F cabin already happening @ peers such as SQ(i.e. 12 F becoming 6 F on 380), MH(i.e. 8 F on 380 replaced by 4 F on 359) and CI(i.e. F is history since 2015).

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  • loopflyer

    loopflyer

    11 Nov, 2017 02:47 pm

    I hope to fly their First. It looks great and have read about the wonderful service and amenities as well. Seems that the lights of another 'F' are going out all over the world: the first class seat/cabin. Let's hope Garuda continues.
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  • JakeDrake

    JakeDrake

    11 Nov, 2017 03:35 pm

    Why does the article generalise that connections from Australia leave much to be desired when @bloatedstoat posts above what looks to be perfect connections from/to MEL (albeit possibly temporary)? The article then uses SYD as an example - yes, those connections are terrible but not all are.
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  • John Wilmore

    J Wilmore

    11 Nov, 2017 04:10 pm

    Connections with the CGK-LHR flight are perfect ex MEL
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20 Nov, 2017 01:20 pm

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