Garuda Indonesia is leaving Gatwick to launch a direct service from Heathrow to take advantage of its unique offering as a global hub for transferring passengers – as well giving UK passengers more flight options.
From 31st of March 2016, the airline will use its fleet of Boeing 777-300ER’s to operate a five times a week service to Jakarta, an increase to the three times a week service it currently operates from Gatwick, offering passengers a more flexible flight schedule. Flights to Jarkarta will also no-longer stop at Amsterdam, with the move to Heathrow enabling the Skyteam airline to draw on transfer passengers to fly direct from London for the first time.
The increased frequency will boost British businesses, which will benefit from improved direct access to the largest economy in South East Asia and one of UKTIs 17 ‘High Growth Markets’. British exporters in particular will be better positioned to utilise the B777-300ER’s 20 tonne cargo hold, with the direct connection reducing the time it takes to get goods to market, and offering a real alternative to the continental gateways to Asia.
Because Heathrow is full, slot availability for long-haul routes is rare. The agreement with Garuda Indonesia took six years to come to fruition, and Heathrow currently has a queue of thirty airlines waiting for slots. Although some long-haul airlines have attempted to operate from point-to-point airports, many more have instead opted to base their operations at hubs abroad. Last year alone, the UK’s hub competitors grew their long haul seats at almost twice the rate of Heathrow.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:
“We are delighted to welcome Garuda Indonesia to Heathrow, securing a regular direct service to one of the largest growth economies in the world. As the UK’s only hub, Heathrow is able to support regular direct flights to 75 long haul destinations not served by any other UK airport. With expansion, we can bring the world to Britain’s doorstep by adding up to 40 more long haul routes to high growth markets and more than doubling the number of UK cities served. Britain will be the best connected country in the world, at the heart of the global economy. Let’s make it happen.”
Jubi Prasetyo, General Manager UK & Ireland said:
“Making the move to Heathrow Airport has been an ambition of ours since joining SkyTeam in March 2014. Heathrow’s pivotal role in servicing the alliance’s 1,052 destinations makes it an ideal departure airport for our passengers. Flying non-stop direct to Jakarta means we will truly be the most efficient way to reach Indonesia from the UK.”
Richard Graham, UK Trade Envoy to Indonesia, said:
“As an island trading nation, air links in to fast growing import markets like Indonesia are vital for the UK’s economic growth prospects. That’s why I am delighted to welcome the announcement that Garuda Indonesia will now have a five times a week, direct route from Britain’s hub airport, helping British business to compete in the global race.”