Now one of the world's most respected and admired airlines, Garuda Indonesia, the national carrier of the world's fourth largest country by population. Garuda Indonesia achieved a remarkable transformation during the decade from 2005 to 2014 under the strong stewardship of a dynamic CEO, Emirsyah Satar. This development and desire to consistently offer their passengers a world-class service has since continued under their new CEO, Arif Wibowo.
Founded originally in 1949 and serving a country made up of thousands of airlines, the 21st century Garuda Indonesia has an ultra modern fleet flying domestic, international and trans-continental services. In 2014, Garuda Indonesia joined the prestigious SkyTeam alliance alongside airlines such as Air France, KLM, Delta, Vietnam Airlines and Aerolineas Argentinas.
Early in the transformation, Garuda Indonesia introduced the distinctive concept of the “Garuda Indonesia Experience” as part of the airline’s effort to continuously improve its passenger services. It highlighted the hospitality, culture, and everything that was best from Indonesia, through a focus on five senses, namely sight, sound, taste, scent, and touch.
In December 2014, Garuda's efforts were recognised and awarded with a five star airline status from Skytrax. Currently, there are only seven airlines that are 5-star airlines, and Garuda Indonesia now ranks alongside ANA All Nippon Airways (Japan), Asiana Airlines (South Korea), Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong), Hainan Airlines (China), Qatar Airways (Qatar), and Singapore Airlines (Singapore).
Following an ambitious aircraft fleet renewal plan, Garuda Indonesia operates a fleet of approximately 150 aeroplanes, including brand new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. Medium range flights are efficiently served by wide-bodied Airbus A330 jets, with short-range and domestic flights operated by a large and expanding fleet of Boeing 737-800 "Next Generation", and Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft.
The new aircraft fleet already features audio and video on demand entertainment throughout the network; flat-bed seats in Executive Class on medium and long haul routes and LED "mood" lighting even on short-haul flights. With the introduction of the new Boeing 777, Garuda Indonesia has introduced a new Super First Class service, including fully enclosed "Oasis" seating units.
Passengers, who once upon a time, experienced the 'old' Garuda, which specialised in transporting cost conscious travellers from Europe to Australia via Jakarta, will be amazed, delighted and converted into advocates of the 'new' Garuda having enjoyed the superb on-board service now available on regular flights from London (Gatwick) and Amsterdam to Jakarta and beyond.