MIAMI — Garuda Indonesia plans to launch flights to Los Angeles in 2017, subject to the upgrade from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to a Category 1 rating.
FAA downgraded Indonesia to Category 2 in April 2007, after determining that the country was “no longer overseeing the safety of its airlines in accordance with international standards.”
Garuda Vice President of Corporate Communications Benny Butarbutar, said the carrier had already started to work on a feasibility study for Boeing 777-300ER services as well as a transit permit from Japan’s aviation authority.
“Up until now, Japan still grants the ‘Fifth Freedom Right’ to Indonesian carriers, which allows Garuda Indonesia to fill up the seats – and further increase the passenger load factor – to our flight to the US” Butarbutar explained.
In 2014, Garuda Indonesia announced its codeshare partnership with Delta Airlines – as the same member of SkyTeam alliance – for flight service to Los Angeles and Seattle via Tokyo Haneda.
According to the airline, Indonesia’s flight market potentials to the United States “is quite high,” reaching 400 thousand passengers per year, with Los Angeles and New York as the cities with the highest market potentials.
Last April, Garuda Indonesia confirmed a $5.75 billion order for 14 Airbus A330neo aircraft, further complementing a 50 737 MAX order placed in August 2014.