National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has joined global airline allianceÂ SkyTeam as the networkâ€™s 20th member and second member based in SoutheastÂ Asia. Plans for Garudaâ€™s entrance to the network were announced as early asÂ 2010 as part of the airlineâ€™s â€śQuantum Leapâ€ť strategy insuring the airline metÂ the allianceâ€™s entry requirements by setting key growth targets under the leadership of president and CEO Emirsyah Satar.
During the signing event Satar announced the launch of direct flights to AmsterdamÂ from the airlineâ€™s hub in Jakarta beginningÂ May 29, 2014, marking Garudaâ€™s nonstop returnÂ to Europe. He also confirmed plans for the start of service to Mumbai and Manila inÂ the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, in addition to service to Frankfurt planned for 2015.
Present at the ceremony were the 19 other members of the alliance including AirÂ France, China Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and Korean Air,Â along with SkyTeam managing director Michael Wisbrun.
â€śSkyTeam aims to boost its membersâ€™ competitiveness by strengthening theÂ network and hubs, enhancing its global footprint, improving customer experience,Â and introducing innovative initiatives that enhance customer benefits,â€ť WisbrunÂ said.
Garuda customers now have access to 1,064 codeshare destinations, 550 SkyTeamÂ lounges, and future cooperation between airlines that could lead to price reductionsÂ and increased efficiency.
â€śIn view of the fact that Garuda has a strong network position in Australia andÂ Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia as its fastest growing country, we believe thatÂ we are able to offer an extensive network of 40 unique destinations which ideallyÂ strengthen the SkyTeamâ€™s global network,â€ť Satar said at the SkyTeam signing event.
SkyTeam offers the Indonesian tourism industry a unique position to access the Chinese consumer market with three existing network members from China. Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Mari Elka Pangestu was also present atÂ the event and expressed hope that the alliance would help attract larger numbers ofÂ Chinese tourists to the archipelago in line with Indonesianâ€™s targets for foreign tourism.
Looking ahead, Satar noted that the airline could expect an additional 3 to 5 percentÂ increase in passenger growth by joining SkyTeam with long-term financialÂ benefits as well.
â€śGarudaâ€™s future will depend on its ability to continuously upgrade and innovateâ€”not an easy task in this business as it requires good management and deep pockets,â€ťÂ said aviation analyst Shukor Yusof of Standard & Poorâ€™s Equity Research.Â â€śIt will also depend on how the Indonesian government sees the future of aviationÂ within Indonesia, as well as externally, and quickly develop its aging infrastructureÂ across the archipelago.”
For more information, visit SkyTeam.