Today, Garuda Indonesia joins the SkyTeam alliance becoming the alliances 20th airline member. Garuda Indonesia has been extremely hard at work over the last 3 years reinventing itself, trying to become one of the world’s leading airlines and one of the few Skytrax 5 star airlines. Although the airline has only received 4 stars, it has been named The World’s Best Economy Class” by Skytrax in June 2013 and has won “Best in Region: Asia and Australasia”, by the “Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)”, in September 2013.
Garuda Indonesia, once a joke of an airline, has overcome many barriers in the last 5 years. From 2007-2009, the airline was forced to suspend service to the EU due to being blacklisted and the airline is still barred from code sharing with US carriers due to Indonesia’s FAA category 2 rating. Despite this, during the Quantum Leap initiative, which started in 2011, the airline has ordered almost all new planes. The entire initiative required a complete image overhaul, including changing the airline’s livery, staff uniform and logo along with expanding their fleet from 62 aircrafts to the current 131. The initiative has been so successful the airline has resumed flights to Europe and has grown immensely both domestically and internationally.
As Garuda joins the Skyteam today, a number of new travel destinations will open for both mile earnings and redemption, and the Skyteam map grows with an additional 35 plus new destinations within Indonesia alone and a much stronger presence in Austrilia, adding more skyteam presence in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne, and adding Perth to the Skyteam global map. Garuda’s international presence is small, as the airline only serves 40 domestic destinations and 20 international destinations across Australia, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Despite Garuda’s small international market presence, it will make traveling to and from South East Asia and the beautiful archipelago (one of my favorite places in the world) even easier! In addition, connections to Indonesia are extremely easy, as Garuda flies to six SkyTeam hubs: Amsterdam, Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul, Jeddah, Beijing, and Guangzhou.
domestic route map
If you are looking for a way to get to South East Asia and need to burn your Delta Skymiles before 2015 or want to transfer your American Express Membership Rewards to one of Garuda’s partners (Including KLM/Air France an Amex partner), now it’s easier than ever! Not to mention, Garuda’s onboard product is not only award winning, it looks amazing! I flew a domestic economy flight once on Garuda in 2008, and even then I was impressed by their service, so I can only imagine how much better it has become since the airline has launched their quantum leap campaign.
First class cabin on 777-300
Other cabins can be toured here
Joining SkyTeam is part of Garuda Indonesia’s progressive transformation program throughout all aspects of the company. This milestone marks a momentous occasion in our airline’s 65-year history and we look forward to a future collaboration with our alliance partners. –President & CEO of Garuda Indonesia, Emirsyah Satar.
Today, Garuda’s aspiration of joining Skyteam has become a reality! The airline announced plans in 2010 to join the SkyTeam Alliance, but first had many obstacles to overcome. Yet, nevertheless, the SkyTeam did not give up hope, nor did Garuda’s partner and now the airline can connect it’s passengers to 1,064 destinations worldwide!