A Company in desperate need of a Communications Director, Garuda Indonesia in less than a single week has publicly announced, first, that they would stop service to London and Frankfurt and, then, six days later, that these flights would be retained and that the airline would soon add new European destinations.
The surprise 180 degree change in policy was announced on Thursday, January 31, 2002, by the Airline's President Commissioner, Robby Johan, at a meeting with Bali tourism leaders and local government functionaries.
According to I Gusti Bagus
Yudhara, the Chief of Bali's branch of the Association of Indonesian Travel Agents, quoted in the Bali Post, the reversal in policy was made to demonstrate "Garuda's concern for Bali tourism." Yudhara also stated that Garuda's London and Frankfurt flights would no longer stopover in Jakarta on the way to Bali, proceeding, instead, directly to the popular tourist destination. Reportedly, the only intermediate stop between these two European cities and Bali will be a brief technical layover at Singapore's Changi
Less than 6 days earlier, the marketing manager of Garuda, Marco Umbas, shocked attendees at the
ASEAN Tourism Fair (ATF) in Yogyakarta, Central Java, by proclaiming that the Carrier would at least temporarily stop flying to London and Frankfurt as a necessary step to the Airline's financial survival. That announcement broad sided efforts to re-launch Indonesian tourism at the ATF and precipitated widespread anger and criticism from international wholesalers of travel to Bali.
Undeterred by what appears to be a delicate financial state-of-health for the airline and the news just 2 days before that Garuda's President Director, Abdul Gani, has resigned his post, Johan reportedly told the Bali tourism leaders during his visit that new services from
Paris-Abu Dhabi-Denpasar and Milan-Abu Dhabi-Denpasar would soon be introduced.
Johan is expected to meet President Megawati Soekarnoputri, shortly, to brief her on the Airline's current status.
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