Garuda Indonesia announced it will delay its London route until May 2014 because of capacity issues at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta.
The national flag carrier intended to start flying nonstop to London from Jakarta with a Boeing 777-300ER, which can hold 314 passengers (eight in First Class, 38 in Business Class, and 268 in Economy Class) and 30 tons of cargo, but the airport Pavement Classification Number needed to accommodate such a large aircraft is 132. Soekarno-Hatta’s 28-year-old runway and apron only have a PCN number of 120, which is not strong enough to support the aircraft.
To take off from Soekarno-Hatta, Garuda would have to subtract 39 passengers and cargo, plus make a stop enroute. But the airline said these restrictions would have a serious effect on the operation of the route.
Garuda’s announcement comes a day after British Airways said it would likely resume flying to Jakarta before the end of the year.
Originally planned to start in November of this year, Garuda Indonesia presented a new plan for the route to start in May 2014. Garuda will initially fly nonstop between Jakarta and London five times a week, departing from Jakarta at 12:55 a.m. local time and arriving at Gatwick at 8:30 a.m. local time. It will then depart from London 10 a.m. local time and arrive in Jakarta at 6:15 local time the next day.
Garuda recently received its second 777-300ER aircraft, which it will use to service its Jakarta-Jeddah route because of increased demand from pilgrimage travelers.
For more information, visit garuda-indonesia.com.