Indonesia’s flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia, is celebrating its 74th anniversary.
The national airline for Indonesia has been in operation since 1949. The birth of Garuda Indonesia took place following the Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference. Negotiations were held between the Indonesian government and Dutch Airline KLM about creating an Indonesian national airline.
The President at the time, Sukarno, decided upon ‘Garuda Indonesian Airways’ (GIA) as the new airline’s name. On the 28th of December 1949, the first flight by Garuda Indonesia took place. Two Dakota (DC-3) aircraft left the Kemayoran airport in Jakarta for Yogyakarta to meet President Sukarno and bring him to Jakarta, the newly reinstated capital of the Republic of Indonesia.
Air travel excellence
A lot has changed since 1949 for the Indonesian airline. They offer travel to several destinations worldwide, such as Tokyo, Sydney, Bali, and Seoul. The airline provides its passengers with the Garuda Indonesia Experience, which emphasizes Indonesia’s warm hospitality and rich, diverse culture.
The airline has a total of 210 aircraft, consisting of 142 fleets. The flag carrier has also won numerous awards, including achieving the 5-Star On-Time Performance Rating 2020 from OAG Flightview, an Independent On-Time Performance rating agency based in the UK.
It also received the “Best Airline in Indonesia” award from 2017 to 2020, “Major Airlines – Airline of Choice for Asian Tourists” from 2018 to 2020 from the TripAdvisor 2020 Traveller’s Choice Airlines Awards, and is recognized as one of the best world airlines in health safety protocol implementation according to Safe Travel Barometer.
Most punctual airline
The airline was awarded the most punctual airline in 2022 by OAG. The report said that the airline had 95.63% of flights arriving on time within 15 minutes of their scheduled time.
Indonesian Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi applauded the airline, saying: “We hope the achievement would enhance the performance of national aviation, become a momentum of recovery, and advance the national aviation industry. I also hope this good on-time performance could be consistent and emulated by other national airlines.”
The airline will continue to expand its network for 2023. Garuda will expand the number of direct flights between Indonesian cities and pilgrimage sites in the Middle East, such as Umrah.
Last year the airline announced an updated partnership with Etihad. The partnership will nearly double the number of combined services to 42 destinations across the Indonesian archipelago, the Middle East, the USA, Europe, and South East Asia. The move came after a similar agreement with fellow United Arab Emirates carrier Emirates.
Garuda President Director Irfan Setiaputra expressed his ambitions for the carrier this year. He said: “We will strengthen this commitment by developing a cargo flight network for both charter and scheduled flights to support direct call activities to various national export destination countries.”
Travel hotspot for tourists
Indonesia is a top travel destination for tourists, with 16 million people visiting in 2019. This decreased to 4 million in 2020 due to the pandemic. It is hoped in 2023 that more people will visit the country.
Indonesia’s islands are known for their rich history and contain one of the seven wonders of the world. The Borobudur Temple, located on the island of Java, is the world’s biggest Buddhist monument. The temple was built in the 8th and 9th centuries during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty.
The country is also known for its beautiful beaches. The Bangka Belitung Islands, located just off the east coast of Sumatra, are known for white sand beaches, palm trees, and granite boulders in the middle of the sea.
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