Garuda Indonesia Plans to Drop London Route

May 25, 2019

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Hot on the heels of the TPG UK team attempting to book a flight between Jakarta and London later in the year, it has been reported in Indonesian media that Garuda, the national airline of Indonesia, will drop its flagship Jakarta (CGK) to London Heathrow (LHR) route after the northern summer 2019 season, following comments by the airline’s president director, I Gusti Ngurah Askhara.

It signals the end of direct flights between the UK and Indonesia, which included routes to both Denpasar-Bali (DPS) and Jakarta, as Garuda operated a triangular route, flying London – Bali – Jakarta – London.

The airline are also said to be reducing frequency on its other European route, from Jakarta to Amsterdam (AMS), from six to three flights weekly, which is perhaps more surprising due to Garuda’s links with its SkyTeam partner KLM and the historical connections between the Netherlands and Indonesia.

However, this may not be the last we hear on this story. Garuda has previously cancelled its London route, but reinstated it only a few weeks later, so only time will tell whether this definitely happens, and if there is an about turn to come.

It’s a shame both because of the loss of direct routes, but also because Garuda provides a high quality service, especially in premium cabins, with a fantastic first class product. This premium product however is known for being incredibly difficult to book using miles and points.

Breakfast was served all at once on a single tray.
Garuda Indonesia 777 Business Class. Photo by Sachin Mehta / The Points Guy

What does this mean if you already have a ticket booked?

You may want to sit tight if you’re yet to make a booking, or find another route that works for you if you plan to travel after the summer. Our best guess is those with tickets will be re-routed via Amsterdam, either on Garuda metal (with a KLM connection to London) or on a KLM service completely, via Amsterdam.

Watch this space for more news, think about other options for travel to Indonesia post summer 2019, and hope Garuda changes its mind!

Featured image by Sachin Mehta / The Points Guy

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