ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Garuda orders 90 new aircraft in massive expansion plan
National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has placed orders for 90 new aircraft to handle new long-haul and mid-range routes and replace its aging fleet, the company has announced.
The carrier signed the agreement at the Paris Air Show on Monday to order 60 new planes from US aircraft manufacturer Boeing and 30 wide-body planes from French aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
Garuda Indonesia president director Arif Wibowo said in a statement that the signing was part of the company’s revitalization and fleet development programs to support the planned route changes, which will include more medium- and long-range flights.
It was also part of the carrier’s commitment to operate aircraft with an average age of five years, in an attempt to improve service quality and passenger comfort, he added.
The carrier committed to buying 60 planes from Boeing — 30 787-9 aircraft and as many as 30 737 MAX 8 planes — valued at $10.9 billion and 30 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft valued at $9.1 billion, according to a Bloomberg report.
“Following our success in revitalizing our regional operations in Asia and the Pacific, the development of our long-haul network will be a priority in the coming years,” Arif said in the statement from Airbus.
“With its reduced fuel consumption, range capability and extra wide cabin, the A350 XWB will be one of the options for us to reposition ourselves as a leading premium carrier in the competitive long-haul market out of Asia,” he went on saying.
Garuda Indonesia plans to use the A350 XWB to develop its medium and long haul network, with the aircraft offering the ability to fly non-stop from Jakarta or Bali to Europe.
The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
“The aircraft has set the new standard for the larger segment of the mid-size wide-body market and is already proving to exceed expectations in service with its first operator. We look forward to seeing the A350 XWB flying the colors of Garuda Indonesia as it extends its reach to more destinations across the world,” Airbus Chief Operating Officer John Leahy said.
Garuda Indonesia senior communications manager Ikhsan Rosan said that the firm had not yet revealed the delivery time for the new aircraft.
However, Bloomberg reported that the deliveries of the 737 aircraft would be carried out from 2022 to 2025 and the 787s would arrive between 2022 and 2024.
This year the airline will welcome three new Boeing 777ER airplanes to cater to the growing Middle East market. The airline will only provide two classes, economy and business, in the jets. The airline currently operates six Boeing 777ER jets.
Garuda Indonesia finance director Askhara Danadiputra previously said that the firm planned to open new routes to Germany and France this year, in addition to targeting other markets in China and the Middle East. The planned French and German routes will run four times a week. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/06/16/garuda-orders-90-new-aircraft-massive-expansion-plan.html#sthash.QSaePIk1.dpuf
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