Garuda Indonesia, the national flag carrier of Indonesia, has been facing a challenging situation due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline has been forced to suspend or reduce many of its international routes, including those to Australia.
One of the affected routes is Jakarta-Perth, which was discontinued in July 2021. Many travelers are wondering if Garuda will resume flights to Perth in the near future.
Why did Garuda stop flying to Perth?
Garuda Indonesia decided to stop offering flight services to Perth and Melbourne starting from July 2021 after studying that both routes were deemed unprofitable.
The airline had been operating four weekly flights to Perth and three weekly flights to Melbourne before the pandemic. Due to the travel restrictions and low demand, Garuda had to reduce its frequency and capacity significantly.
The airline also faced competition from other carriers, such as Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and AirAsia, which offered cheaper fares and more convenient connections.
Garuda Indonesia’s financial situation also played a role in its decision. The airline has been struggling with debt and liquidity problems for years, and the pandemic only worsened its condition.
In April 2021, Garuda announced that it would undergo a debt restructuring process under the Indonesian bankruptcy law.
The airline also sought help from the government, which owns a majority stake in Garuda. However, the government has been reluctant to provide a bailout, citing the need for Garuda to improve its management and governance.
What are the alternatives for flying to Perth?
For travelers who want to fly from Jakarta to Perth, there are still some options available. However, they may have to pay more, take longer flights, or transit through other countries.
Here are some of the alternatives:
Qantas is the only airline that currently offers direct flights from Jakarta to Perth. The Australian carrier operates three weekly flights on this route, using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The flight time is about five hours and 15 minutes, and the fare starts from $1,055 one-way.
Singapore Airlines is another option for flying from Jakarta to Perth via Singapore. The Singaporean carrier operates daily flights from Jakarta to Singapore, using Airbus A350-900 or Boeing 787-10 aircraft.
The flight time is about one hour and 45 minutes, and the fare starts from $265 one-way. From Singapore, travelers can take another flight to Perth, which is also operated daily by Singapore Airlines, using Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The flight time is about five hours and 10 minutes, and the fare starts from $390 one-way.
AirAsia is a low-cost carrier that offers flights from Jakarta to Perth via Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian carrier operates daily flights from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur, using Airbus A320 aircraft.
The flight time is about two hours and 10 minutes, and the fare starts from $75 one-way. From Kuala Lumpur, travelers can take another flight to Perth, which is also operated daily by AirAsia, using Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The flight time is about five hours and 40 minutes, and the fare starts from $180 one-way.
When will Garuda resume flights to Perth?
The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as the recovery of travel demand, the easing of travel restrictions, the improvement of Garuda’s financial situation, and the availability of slots and aircraft.
At this point, it is hard to predict when Garuda will resume flights to Perth or any other Australian city. However, there are some signs that indicate a possible comeback in the future.
First of all, Garuda still maintains its presence in Australia through its codeshare partnership with Qantas. This means that travelers can still book flights with Garuda on Qantas-operated flights between Jakarta and Perth or Melbourne.
This also means that Garuda can leverage Qantas’ network and customer base in Australia if it decides to resume its own flights.
Secondly, Garuda still operates some international routes despite its financial difficulties. For example, Garuda still flies to Amsterdam, Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Jeddah, and Riyadh.
These routes are considered strategic or essential for Garuda’s business or diplomatic interests. Therefore, it is possible that Garuda may resume some of its other international routes once the situation improves.
Thirdly, Garuda still has some loyal customers who prefer its service and product over other airlines. Garuda has been recognized as one of the best airlines in the world, winning several awards and accolades for its quality and hospitality.
Garuda also offers some unique features, such as the Garuda Indonesia Experience, which highlights the warm Indonesian hospitality and rich diverse culture4. These factors may attract some travelers to choose Garuda over its competitors.
Garuda Indonesia has stopped flying to Perth due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its financial problems.
However, there are still some alternatives for travelers who want to fly from Jakarta to Perth, such as Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and AirAsia.
There is also a possibility that Garuda may resume flights to Perth in the future, depending on the recovery of travel demand, the easing of travel restrictions, the improvement of Garuda’s financial situation, and the availability of slots and aircraft.
Until then, travelers can still enjoy the Garuda Indonesia Experience through its codeshare partnership with Qantas or its other international routes.