Garuda Indonesia – the national airline for Indonesia – announced today that it has chosen Gatwick to operate direct flights between London and Jakarta, one of south-east Asia’s largest hub airports.
This will make Gatwick the only UK airport to connect passengers directly to the largest economy in the region.
From the fourth quarter of 2013, business and leisure passengers will be able to fly direct between Indonesia and the UK six times per week.
Garuda Indonesia will operate Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft capable of carrying over 300 passengers.
The UK is now one of the largest markets to Indonesia with 160,000 people currently travelling to the region on business and leisure.
Indonesia is an increasingly important market for the UK.
Bi-lateral trade is growing and in April 2012, during prime minister David Cameron’s visit to Indonesia, a partnership commitment to double trade by 2015 to £4.4 billion was announced.
This new direct route will boost business activities between the two countries and help towards meeting that bi-lateral trade commitment.
Speaking at the time, Cameron said: “We want to link Britain up with the world’s fastest growing economies. And good air links are vital to achieving that.
“This new route from London to Jakarta is good for British business and will help them to compete in the global race.”
Garuda Indonesia has also expanded its flight network to Europe through codeshare agreements with other international airlines, including Etihad Airways, which enables passengers to fly into seven major cities across Europe.
Garuda president Emirsyah Satar said the new Jakarta-London direct flight will complement the existing Jakarta – Abu Dhabi – Amsterdam route, as part of the airline’s Quantum Leap 2011-2015 programme to develop the international network and become a ‘global player’.
“This flight will be more convenient since it will be serving passengers - non-stop - from Jakarta to London with the brand new B777-300ER, which will be equipped with Wi-Fi and a chef on board for First Class passengers,” he added.