One of the more iconic services in the aviation world is Garuda’s service to London. The Indonesian flag-carrier has changed up the route service an incredible number of times back in 2019. Now, with 2020 approaching, the airline is suspending the route entirely. At least, for now.
Garuda Indonesia suspends London service
Routesonline reports that Garuda Indonesia is ending its current service to London on March 31, 2020. The airline did not announce any new or alternate services to London. This has come after a year of service changes. Currently, the airline operates Denpasar to Medan to London-Heathrow.
Currently, the route is scheduled as a thrice-weekly service onboard brand new Airbus A330-900neo aircraft. This is the latest generation variant of the popular Airbus A330. While Garuda flies both the A330 and A330neo, the airline placed the shiny new A330neo on this high-profile route.
The trouble with London
Garuda has not quite been able to make London work. Moreover, Garuda flies into Heathrow which is notorious for being an expensive airport to fly into. If Garuda is making this many changes, it is likely because the carrier is turning extensive losses. Long-haul flights can make or break an airline.
However, London is a major tourist and business hub. The city has enough attractions to last a family a week without getting bored. And, with a number of high-profile businesses, there is plenty of demand for premium-cabin travel to and from the city.
In order to tap into this demand, Garuda has tried a number of different ways to get this service to work. At one point, the airline flew to London-Gatwick via Amsterdam from Jakarta, then the airline operated Jakarta to London flights via Singapore. Finally, the airline then decided to run the route out of Denpasar-Bali first with a stop in Jakarta and then later with a stop in Medan.
Despite operating hubs in both Jakarta and Denpasar, the airline has not been able to make London work. Generally, airlines who fly hub-and-spoke style networks like Garuda can leverage connections. In this case, it appears that Garuda could not do so.
Denpasar is a growing and popular tourist destination. Garuda, in fact, flies some other high-demand long-haul routes out of Denpasar. However, for Garuda, service to London has not quite worked out as anticipated. As a result, the carrier is closing this service from the end of March in 2020. Although, as the airline has done this before, it is possible that a new service routing to London could be in the works.
Do you think Garuda should try again with service to London? Have you flown Garuda to London? Let us know in the comments!
Routesonline was the source for Garuda’s service suspension to London and is linked above.