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NEWS UPDATES 4 July 2009

Indonesian flag-carrier to resume European flights next year

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Garuda Indonesia is likely to resume flights to Europe in the first half of 2010 after the EU Air Safety Committee recommends the lifting of the flight ban on four Indonesian carriers, state news agency Antara reported.

Garuda Communications Chief Pujobroto made the remarks on Friday in response to the decisions reached by the committee at its three-day meeting which ended in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday.

One of the decisions is recommending the lifting of the EU flight ban on Garuda Indonesia, Mandala, AirFast and Premi Air.

The decisions will formally be issued nearly two weeks after being translated into 22 EU official languages and signed by the board of commissioners for transportation affairs.

Pujobroto said Garuda positively welcomed the decision and would resume its flights to Europe particularly to Amsterdam in the first phase.

It would take nearly nine months for the national flag carrier to make preparations for flight resumption, he said. He said Garuda was still undecided about the types of planes to resume the European flights.

"But as an alternative these aircraft could be A 330-200s. Therefore, we need one stopover or cannot serve a direct flight," he said.

If all the 10 Boeing 777s ordered by Gardua were to be delivered nearly in late 2010 or early 2011, it would serve non-stop flights to a number of European cities, he said.

The European Commission (EC) first imposed a flight ban on all Indonesian carriers, forbidding them from entering the region, in July 2007 following a series of fatal accidents.

Comprehensive efforts have since been made to remedy the safety shortcomings in order to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.


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