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Garuda to Fly to Europe in 2010?

Garuda Eager to Fly to Amsterdam When Current Aviation Blacklisting Lifted by EU.

(2/23/2009) Bisnis.com reports that Garuda Indonesia is following instruction issued by its main shareholder, the government of Indonesia, and is preparing to recommence services to Europe, market conditions permitting.

The Director of Operations of Garuda, Ari Sapari, said the plans for a return to Europe are supported by the airline's wide-body aircraft, such as Boeing 747-400. Sapari said: "If we are instructed, we must comply. But every aspect must be considered because the aviation business has its own unique characteristics."

Nonetheless, Sapari explained that plans are in hand to recommence service to Holland in 2010 in conjunction with the arrival of ten new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

The Garuda executive is full of praise for the new Boeing 777-300ER, saying they are the easiest to fly in their class and capable of flying non-stop for 15 hours.

Sapari admitted that Garuda is waiting for a lifting of the current European Union ban on Indonesian registered aircraft. Sapari retorted: "As regards the travel ban, don't ask us. Ask the regulator."

While waiting for the EU regulators to give the thumbs up to Indonesian aircraft once again operating to Europe, the Corporate Secretary for Garuda, Pujobroto, confirmed that his company continues to prepare for European services despite the regulators blacklisting. Those preparations include selection of suitable aircraft, route planning and other factors. "By doing this, we will be able to take an immediate decision to begin flying to Europe when the blacklisting is lifted," said Pujobroto.

The initial return to Europe is planned via a Jakarta-Amsterdam service with Holland considered a major market for Garuda. Lindsat Pronk, the Dutch born Miss Universe has been engaged by Garuda to help publicize the planned return of the Indonesian flag carrier to Amsterdam .