Garuda Indonesia Airline, publicly known as Garuda Indonesia, is the flag carrier of Indonesia. It is named after the mystical giant bird Garuda of Hinduism and Buddhist mythology. The name was derived from a Dutch poem by renowned poet Raden Mas Noto Soeroto.
It is headquartered at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, near Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. Other hubs include: Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Ngurah Rai International Airport and Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport. Most Garuda Indonesia shares are owned by the Indonesian government.
The history of Garuda Indonesia Airline started when Presiden Soekarno urge the businessman and the people of Aceh to buy an aircraft in time of Indonesian war of independence against the Dutch in late 1940s. During this period, the airline has supported Indonesian interests, such as carrying the leaders of the government.
The 1960s were times of growth and expansion for the company, both in the route and fleet. The next 20 years saw great changes in the fleet. At one point, Garuda owned 62 Fokker jets, which makes it the world"s largest operator of F28s at that time.
The 1990s were really hard time for Garuda, when it had to suffer from severe accidents, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, terrorist attacks, tsunami, SARS scare, etc. The situation has only been improved by 2005. However, from June 2007, there was a ban of EU on Garuda and other Indonesian airlines, which follows the ealier crash of a Boeing 737-400. Only in July 2009 was the ban lifted and the company started an aggressive five-year expansion plan, calledd Quantum Leap, which involved an image overhaul, including changing the airline"s livery, staff uniform and logo.
In total, the airline operates flights to 51 destinations: 31 domestic and 19 international.
International routes include: Asia : Bangkok, Hongkong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore; Japan, Korea and China : Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Seoul, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai; South West Pacific : Melbourne, Perth, Sydney; Middle East : Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Dubai; Europe : Amsterdam.
Domestic destinations are as follow: Banda Aceh, Medan, Pekan Baru, Batam, Padang, Palembang, Pangkalpinang, Bandar Lampung, Jambi, Jakarta, Jogyakarta, Solo, Semarang, Surabaya, Malang, Denpasar, Ampenan, Makassar, Manado, Palangkaraya, Pontianak, Banjarmasin, Balikpapan, Kupang, Kendari, Biak, Jayapura, Timika, Ambon, Ternate, Palu.
Currently, Garuda Indonesia Airline consists of: 8 Airbus A330-200, 6 Airbus A330-300, 10 Boeing 737-300, 10 Boeing 737-400, 5 Boeing 737-500, 56 Boeing 737-800 and 3 Boeing 747-400.