Following a six-year absence, national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has returned to Europe with an inaugural flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam on June 01st 2010. Garuda CEO and President Emirsyah Satar said during a ceremony to mark the restoration of the route at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport that the nation is proud that the airline can fly to Europe once again.
“We’re proud to return to Amsterdam. Garuda had earned an award as the most punctual airlines at Schipol [in 2001 and 2002]. We hope we can achieve it again,” he said. Garuda is expanding further in Europe, by opening other routes to Frankfurt, London, Paris and Rome over the next two to three years. Currently, four Airbus A330-200 aircraft will serve the Jakarta-Amsterdam route, via Dubai.
Garuda departs daily at 20:40 from Jakarta and 11:00 a.m. from Amsterdam. For the planned new routes to other European cities, the airline has ordered several Boeing 777s that are expected to arrive next year. Supporting the return to Europe, the airlines worked with designer Josephine “Obin” Komara in creating new uniforms for cabin crew. The uniforms carry the classic “parang” batik motif, and comprise a long skirt and kebaya-inspired blouse in turquoise, blue and orange for female flight attendants. Stewards wear business suits.
State-Owned Enterprises Minister Mustafa, Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik and Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia Nikolaos van Dam were among 108 VIPs onboard Garuda’s first flight to Amsterdam.