Building a Garuda for the future

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In a lavish ceremony, Garuda Indonesia unveiled its new management building at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on July 23.

Opened by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the new office is located in front of Garuda Indonesia Group’s GMF AeroAsia maintenance hangar and replaces the Indonesian flag carrier’s former head office in central Jakarta.

Measuring approximately 17,000m2, the new four-story facility will house Garuda’s management team as well as an additional 1000 employees from various units.

Garuda’s president director, Emirsyah Satar,  says the opening of the new office is a further step towards consolidating operating costs.

“The opening of the new office at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport complex was also made for cost-effectiveness,” Satar said.

The occasion was also used to unveil the latest additions to Garuda’s fleet – an Airbus A330-200 and a Boeing B-737-800NG. The new aircraft are the first the airline has received as part of orders for four A330-200s and 50 B-737-800NGs.

With Garuda rapidly transforming sizeable year on year losses into impressive profits in recent years, the airline has outlined its ambitious business development strategy through to 2014.

With the further addition of 10 new Boeing 777-300ERs scheduled to be delivered in 2010, Garuda plans to more than double its total fleet from 56 to 116 aircraft by 2014.

Having successfully renewed its IATA Operational Safety Audit until 2010 and with the much-talked about EU ban now lifted on Garuda, the airline plans to use its new Boeing 777-300ERs to return to the European market with direct flights from Jakarta to Amsterdam three times a week from next year.

“We used the ban as the momentum to create a new atmosphere and to reborn regulation, organisation and also building a new fleet,” Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation, Jusman Syafii Djamal, said.

“So hopefully we reconstruct the safety situation in Indonesia.”

Dubbed ‘Quantum Leap’, Garuda’s new strategy also includes existing fleet rejuvenation and enhancement, increased weekly flight frequency from 1700 to 3000 flights, and heightened route management that has seen and will continue to see less profitable routes dropped in favour of more lucrative ones.

In the first week of August, this route restructure saw the commenencement of direct flights between Jakarta and both Sydney and Melbourne, with Garuda earmarking substantial potential in attracting the business market on the Qantas-dominated route.

Despite the bold expansion plans, Satar isn’t concerned about a potential pilot shortage, with Garuda currently recruiting from both flying schools and other Indonesian airlines.

At the July 23 event Garuda also launched a corporate identity rebranding that included a new livery and a new concept of service it calls the ‘Garuda Indonesia Experience’.

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