Garuda Indonesia has quietly axed plans to bring its new Boeing 777-300ER to Sydney next month, pushing the big bird's Australian debut back to mid-2014.
It's the third setback for the airline's newest flagship, which reintroduces first class to the Garuda fleet along with a revamped business class to help spearhead the airline's drive to be seen as a world-class carrier.
Garuda first planned for the Boeing 777 to begin flying between Sydney and Jakarta from October 27 as a prelude to the early November launch of a new Sydney-Jakarta-London service designed to tap into the popular Kangaroo Route market.
However, in August Garuda revealed that the 28 year-old runway and apron at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport were not strong enough to carry the Boeing 777 if the aircraft was to operate with a full load of passengers, cargo and fuel sufficient for the 7,300 mile flight to London, delaying the launch of a Jakarta-London B777 service until upgrading work could be completed in May next year.
At the time, Garuda said the Boeing 777-300ER would be scheduled onto the Sydney-Jakarta route from November 8 to December 18, after which it would be "deployed to another region until our Jakarta to London service begins in 2014, when the aircraft will fly from Sydney to Jakarta and onto London direct."
However, a spokeswoman for Garuda Indonesia has confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that even this short six-week stint this is no longer on the cards.
"Unfortunately, the 777 will no longer be coming to Sydney in November, due to operational reasons" she said, although promising that the Boeing 777-300ER was still slated for Sydney-Jakarta-London flights once the airline reinstates this route, which is expected in the middle of 2014.
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