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Garuda resumes services to Europe
June 3rd, 2010

(Amsterdam: 2 June 2010): Indonesia’s national airline, Garuda Indonesia, today took the first step in rebuilding its long-haul international network with the launch of a new daily service from Jakarta to Amsterdam via Dubai. Amsterdam is the first of several major European destinations which Garuda Indonesia intends to add to its fast-growing network over the next four years, including Frankfurt, London, Paris and Rome.

Garuda Indonesia’s re-entry into Amsterdam, after an absence of almost six years, marks a significant step forward in the airline’s global expansion strategy and its transformation into one of Asia’s most successful and profitable airlines. The new Jakarta-Amsterdam service provides passengers with greater connectivity and convenience and the choice of an alternative gateway between Asia and Europe. Garuda Indonesia becomes the first Indonesian airline to reopen flights to Europe after the European Union’s (E.U) ban prohibiting Indonesian carriers from operating in European airspace was lifted in July last year.

“Europe will play an integral role in our five-year ‘Quantum Leap’ strategy which includes growing our international network as well as developing new concepts for both business and leisure travel. Establishing a strong presence in Amsterdam and the rest of Europe is an important element in meeting these growth targets,” said Emirsyah Satar, President and CEO, Garuda Indonesia.

“We’re also planning to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) before the end of this year and our return to Europe is pivotal in determining the success of the IPO. We want to raise approximately US$300 million to support these long-term growth plans”, added Satar.

The daily service operates from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport using the airline’s technically advanced 222-seater Airbus A330-200 aircraft with a two-class configuration – carrying 36 passengers in Executive Class and 186 in Economy Class. In Executive Class the aircraft offers fully reclining flat bed seats with 74 inch seat pitch. The aircraft also features individual touch-screen LCD screens in all classes; state-of-art in-flight entertainment systems with touch-screen Audio & Video On Demand (AVOD) delivering a choice of 25 feature films, 250 audio tracks and 25 video games.

“We are honoured that Garuda Indonesia selected Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to be the first airport to re-open connections to Europe. We are very delighted to have Garuda Indonesia back with this new daily service between Jakarta and Amsterdam. The new service also offers hassle free connections via Schiphol airport to many European destinations. Garuda Indonesia’s return to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol opens a new area for passengers to travel between Asia and Europe. Passengers can also choose Jakarta as an alternative gateway to Southeast Asia and Australia. We are confident this route will strengthen relations between Indonesia and the Netherlands, both in business and leisure”, said Pieter Verboom, CFO Schiphol Group.

Garuda Indonesia was recently upgraded to a four-star rating by Skytrax, the global benchmark for airline service standards, confirming the improvement in its front-line product and service quality. It was also named the ‘World’s Most Improved Airline’ at the Skytrax 2010 World Airline Awards in Hamburg, Germany last month. The Skytrax World Airline Awards is the airline industry’s most comprehensive and prestigious measure of service quality and is based on survey results from nearly 18 million international passengers.

“We have invested heavily in developing a service culture known as the ‘Garuda Indonesia Experience’ which combines warm Indonesian hospitality with quality service and comfort. In addition, we will introduce an ‘Immigration On-Board’ service which will allow passengers entering Indonesia to have their travel documents processed on-board, eliminating the need to queue at immigration counters upon arrival,” said Agus Priyanto, EVP Commercial, Garuda Indonesia.

Flight GA88 takes-off from Jakarta everyday at 20.40, arriving in Dubai at 02.00. It departs again at 03.15, arriving in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport at 08.00 the next day. The return flight departs Amsterdam at 11.00, arriving in Dubai at 19.30. The same aircraft departs again at 20.30, arriving in Jakarta at 07.55

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