Recreating the Garuda Indonesia Experience

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13 November 2010, Singapore – Garuda Indonesia revamped its aircraft fleet,  branding, livery and new in-flight product, new service concept and a fresh corporate identity in July 2009, inviting air travelers to try out the new Garuda Experience.  Indonesia’s national airline was recognized in the 2010 Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) survey as Asia’s leading service quality airline ahead of Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines for the overall quality of service.  The survey was based on criteria such as passenger comfort, food, in-flight and ground services and customers’ perceptions of the value of flying with the airline.  The survey reported that travellers were genuinely impressed with the service offered by Garuda and that the airline appeared to be rebuilding itself on firm foundations.

In May 2010, Garuda Indonesia was also named the ‘World’s Most Improved Airline‘ at the Skytrax 2010 World Airline Awards in Hamburg, Germany.

As part of its transformation programme, Garuda Indonesia invested heavily in developing  a service concept known as the Garuda Indonesia Experience. This combines warm Indonesia hospitality with elements of the country’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, reflected in the onboard decor, staff uniforms, food and beverages.  All its new aircraft features seatback video on-demand systems throughout Executive and Economy classes, while the long-haul Airbus A330-200s are equipped with lie-flat beds in Executive Class.

Garuda Indonesia is a full-service network carrier that serves 28 domestic and 18 international destinations, with its main hubs in Jakarta and Denpasar in Indonesia, receiving its IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification in May 2008.  In December 2009, the airline was also upgraded to a four-star rating by Skytrax, the global benchmark for airline service standards.  Currently, Garuda Indonesia operates 7 flights out of Jakarta to Singapore and back.

As part of the airline’s expansion plan, Garuda Indonesia has acquired its new fleet Airbus 330-200s and Boeing 737-800NGs which are arriving periodically since August 2009.  The Boeing serves short and medium-haul services whereby Airbus will serve medium to long-haul regional routes.  It will also introduce 10 Boeing 777-300ERs on new ultra long-range flights in 2011 as its international network expands.  The number of international departures will increase by more than 300% to 1,222 per week by 2014.

The new Garuda Indonesia Experience Concept

Garuda now deploys a 5 sense concept approach to their new service: Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste and Touch.  This is practised through all passenger contact points from pre journey, pre-flight, in-flight, post-flight and post-journey.  Indonesia’s signature dish on board the flights include the Indonesian cone-shaped yellow rice called Nasi Tumpeng and the mix of tamarillo and passion fruit juice called Martebe.  Unfortunately, I only found out about this after the trip so I didn’t get the chance to try them on board.

Garuda Indonesia deploys the brand new fleet of Boeing 737-800NGs for the SIN – JKT – SIN  and SIN – DPS (Bali) – SIN sectors, of which there are 31 on the fleet.  Here are some facts of Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 737-800 NG fleet

Number of Fleet: 31 A/C
Engines: L CFM56-7 B
Maximum Speed: 853 Kph
Range: 5,425 km
Seat Capacity: 12* + 144** = 156
Crew: Cockpit 2, Cabin 6

Photo Credit: Garuda Indonesia

Flight schedules from Singapore

The last time I flew on Garuda Indonesia was in 1999 on the Singapore – Hong Kong route for business.  I did not have any impression of that flight then except that I was happy to get a flight to Hong Kong.  For some strange reason, flights on other carriers were not available.

Our travel companions included the friendly couples behind TRAVELERFOLIO.com and PASSPORTCHOP.com. We were invited to personally try the Garuda Indonesia experience.  Garuda Indonesia invited us to also experience the JetQuay check-in experience that is accorded to Executive Class passengers.  JetQuay Terminal is the Commercially Important People (CIP) terminal located between Terminal 2 and the VIP terminal.  (Check back again for the post on JetQuay)

The Economy Experience

Here’s a video from the SIN – JKT sector.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chWs8Gom3nU]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35SDCoNTTCs]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ-mdk1_sw8]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS-3keQp7wQ]

 

 

There's Dennis, Brenda and Yenny

Economy Class Cabin

With a choice of 35 feature films, 10 TV programmes, 48 music albums and 25 interactive video games, you will not be bored during the journey.   Though you may not be able to finish the entire feature film for short-haul flights.

AVOD touchscreen Entertainment System in Economy Class

Lunch and Inflight Entertainment

 

Inflight Beverage Service

 

Our Lunch in Economy Class

 

The Executive Experience

Enroute back from JKT to SIN in the evening, 4 of us were upgraded to try the Executive class in-flight experience which I was very satisfied with.  With only 12 newly designed seats in the Boeing 737-800NG, there is spatial leg room with a seat pitch of 42-inch, in arm 9 inch touch screen LCD monitors and 4 way head rest and personal reading light.

 

The aircraft from Jakarta to Singapore

Me and Zhiqiang from PASSPORTCHOP.COM

There's so much space in Executive Class.

 

Look at that leg room in Executive Class

 

 

Extra amenities in the Executive Class restrooms

Meal Service in Executive Class

 

Executive Class in flight dinner

Executive Class Western Dinner - Spaghetti

 

Friendly Cheerful looking Flight attendants

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