PT Garuda Indoanesia Tbk. plans to open new routes to France and Germany this year to boost its income, Finance Director I.G.N. Askhara Dananiputra stated here on Tuesday.
He noted that the routes would become operational between the second and third quarter this year after the delivery of the Boeing 777 that the national flag carrier has ordered.
"We have ordered the Boeing 777 as in the same cost we would be more efficient if we use it to serve long-haul destinations rather than short- or middle-range destinations," he pointed out after attending the signing of a hedging agreement between the company and four banks.
The companys President Director, M. Arif Wibowo, noted that Germany and France had been chosen as the countries economic growth is more stable as compared to other European countries.
"The European growth is still two to three percent with the biggest growth recorded by Germany and France. France's growth is still lower than Germany's," he elaborated.
He noted that Garuda would fly to Paris in France and Frankfurt in Germany for the time being.
He admitted to still calculating the possibility of operating direct flights due to the capability of runways in Indonesia which are not yet able to accommodate Boeing 777 maximally.
In Indonesia, the take-off weight for a Boeing 777 class aircraft is only 329 tons while the maximum capability of the Boeing 777 reaches 351 tons.
"Economically, this is not feasible. We are still calculating and finding ways with regard to destinations to get a higher income," he remarked.
To support the European routes, Garuda would deploy 10 aircraft providing dual and first class travel options on 18 aircraft to be delivered this year, he emphasized.
Apart from opening new routes, Arif noted that Garuda would also increase the frequency. He further added that there will be four flights per week for destinations in France and Germany while there will be daily flights for the existing route such as to the Netherlands and England.
With a capacity of 300 passengers, the Boeing 777 is expected to increase the number of passengers by 1.2 thousand per week or 62.4 thousand per year.
"Apart from opening new routes in Europe, China and the Middle East, we will also expand our networks and streamline our operation schedules," he added. (Antara)