SEPANG – The passenger movements between Malaysia and Indonesia is set to increase as Garuda Indonesia, the Republic of Indonesia’s flagship carrier, has introduced a bigger and more sophisticated aircraft for its operations into KL International Airport (KLIA).


Effective today, Garuda Indonesia will operate the new Boeing 737-800 Next Generation (738NG) aircraft on the Kuala Lumpur-Jakarta route, offering 162 seats in a two-class configuration. The airline currently offers two flights daily from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta vice versa.


In the welcome reception to commemorate the introduction of new aircraft by Garuda Indonesia, Y.Bhg. Dato’ Azmi Murad, Senior General Manager Operations Services of Malaysia Airports, accompanied by senior officials of Malaysia Airports, greeted and presented souvenirs to all the arrival passengers of Flight GA820 from Jakarta, including Bapak Don Jusuf Palito Bustan, Vice President Marketing of Garuda Indonesia.


Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, Managing Director of Malaysia Airports said: “The introduction of a larger aircraft by Garuda Indonesia clearly indicates the high demand for this sector, which means we will see a significant growth for this route. Undoubtedly, it will further enhance the relationship between these two neighbouring countries.”

 He added: “Malaysia Airports has always enjoyed a good affiliation with Garuda Indonesia throughout its many years of operations to Kuala Lumpur, and I would like to congratulate the airline on the positive growth for its operations to Kuala Lumpur. We are confident Garuda Indonesia will continue to prosper serving this route.”    


According to the airline, compared to the current fleet of aircraft servicing the route, the new technologically advanced 738NGs will significantly increase the airline’s capacity by up to 40 percent.


“We decided to deploy the new aircraft on this route because of the steady increase in demand experienced from our customers. Garuda Indonesia’s flights from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta are popular with the business and golfing community because of our convenient flight timings and value added services which cater to their need for convenience and comfort,” said Erwin Suharja General Manager Garuda Indonesia for Malaysia.


Malaysia’s system of airports processed a total of 3,896,054 passengers from Indonesia in 2010, an increase of 7.3% from 2009. Statistics in 2009 indicated Indonesian tourist arrivals in Malaysia reached 2.5 million, while there were about 10,000 Indonesians studying at higher learning institutions in Malaysia. Indonesians also make up 51% of foreign workers in Malaysia in various sectors.


The move by Garuda Indonesia is set to boost the tourism industry for both countries and at the same time, further allow Malaysia and Indonesia to continue enjoying increase in bilateral trade, which in the first six months of 2010 was worth US$7.19 billion, compared with US$5.01 billion over the same period in 2009.