WORLD ROUTES: Garuda Indonesia Selects ATR 72-600 for Regional Connectivity

Indonesia’s national airline, Garuda Indonesia has announced that it will be introducing 35 new ATR 72-600 aircraft into its fleet from November 2013 to support the increasing growth in economic centres. The fleet renewal is in line with the airline’s efforts to develop and strengthen its flight network and its commitment to support Indonesian economic development through the Master Plan for Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Development (MP3EI) programme.

The carrier has agreed terms with the Danish leasing and financing firm, Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) to acquire 25 ATR 72-600s with options for ten additional aircraft, which will be delivered in stages up to 2017. The aircraft will be used to serve short-haul point to point flights, and flights between hubs.

"The agreement is part of the airline’s Quantum Leap 2011-2015 transformation and expansion programme, designed especially to broaden and strengthen Garuda’s flight network in the domestic market, and at the same time enhance service to the customers by offering a wider choice of destinations and travel options," said Emirsyah Satar, president and chief executive officer, Garuda Indonesia.

"As the airline industry continues to grow steadily, Garuda Indonesia will continue to carry out its business transformation and expansion program, in sync with the government’s plans in the next couple of years to develop air transport infrastructure by opening new airports around the country, particularly in fast growing economic regions and tourist destinations,” he added.

Garuda Indonesia will use these new propeller aircraft on routes that are under the 400 Nm range (under 30 minutes) in all regions of the country. The ATR 72-600 is capable of reaching small airports that have runways measuring less than 1,600 meters which are often too small for jet planes.

“Being equipped with modern technology and capable of efficient operations, the ATR 72-600 offers the same high level of comfort to passengers, as the other fleet types operated by Garuda Indonesia. This type of aircraft is the best in its class to serve short distance routes between the islands and cities in Indonesia that have a limited runway capacity,” added Emirsyah.

Garuda Indonesia will operate the ATR 72-600 with a single class economy cabin configuration with a seat capacity for 70 passengers to serve flights flying out of its hubs such as Denpasar, Makassar, and Ambon to Labuan Bajo, Tambolaka, and Ende in East Nusa Tenggara, Bima in West Nusa Tenggara, Banyuwangi and Jember in East Java, Bau-bau and Wangi-wangi in Southeast Sulawesi, Luwuk (Central Sulawesi), Mamuju (West Sulawesi), Poso (Central Sulawesi), Kaimana (Papua), and Tual / Langgur (Maluku).

The company’s determined efforts to develop its network of destinations and improve service quality are part of the airline’s move to join the SkyTeam global alliance in March 2014 and in anticipation of 2015’s ASEAN Open Skies policy.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…