British Airways set to resume Jakarta flights

British Airways (BA) is expected to resume flights to Jakarta before the end of 2013.

BA last served Jakarta before the economic downturn a few years ago. Indonesia’s air transport director, Djoko Murjatmodjo, reportedly told the Jakarta Post recently that six new foreign carriers would soon begin services to the country. BA is reportedly one of the carriers and is expected to make an official announcement shortly.

The UK’s national airline recently rescheduled its London to Singapore terminator flights, BA11 and BA12, to allow a longer layover in the City State. The eight hours that the aircraft remains on the ground would be adequate to fit in a return ‘tag’ flight to Jakarta.

Lufthansa also used to offer the same route when it last served Jakarta via Singapore. Since Lufthansa quit Jakarta, there are only two European carriers that operate there, namely KLM and Turkish Airlines. If BA decides to return, it is likely to have traffic rights similar to Lufthansa’s and carry passengers between Singapore and Jakarta.

Meanwhile, Indonesian airline, Garuda, which was set to inaugurate flights from London Gatwick to Jakarta and Sydney on November 2, has amended its UK website. The airline is thought to be considering its options in the light of BA’s possible return, according to Business Traveller.

But British Airways will face stiff competition, not only from Garuda but also from SIA and from the Gulf carriers who are all adding more services. Emirates alone operate three daily B777-300ER flights into Jakarta, while SIA flies nine times a day from Singapore, with connections from its five daily UK flights.

Garuda Indonesia Launches London to Jakarta Service

Garuda Indonesia, an Indonesia-based airline, will be offering a service from London Gatwick Airport in the UK.

The airline is offering non-stop flights from London to Jakarta, Indonesia, six times per week. The airline will be operating Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft on the route, which can carry up to 300 passengers.

The UK prime minister, David Cameron, on welcoming the airline to the country, said, ‘We want to link Britain up with the world’s fastest growing economies. And good air links are vital to achieving that. This new route from London to Jakarta is good for British business and will help them to compete in the global race.’

The airline president and chief executive officer, Emirsyah Satar, said, ‘This flight will be more convenient since it will be serving passengers – non-stop – from Jakarta to London with the brand new B777-300ER, which will be equipped with Wi-Fi and a chef on board for First Class passengers.

We chose Gatwick, London as the UK airport because of its convenience and good network and accessibility options into Europe and beyond.’

The chief executive officer of Gatwick Airport, Stewart Wingate, said, ‘We are delighted that Garuda Indonesia has chosen Gatwick to operate this vital direct route. Despite being a crucial high growth business market for the UK, Indonesia has been underserved with no direct routes to the region from the UK – until now. Jakarta is also a major hub airport for South East Asia, giving UK passengers even more access and choice to the region.

Whilst the UK is one of the best-connected countries in the world, we do need more direct links to key markets such as Indonesia. At Gatwick, we’re playing our part by investing in the airport and, with our airlines, opening new routes to growing economies such as China, Russia, Turkey, Vietnam and now Indonesia. We look forward to welcoming Garuda Indonesia later this year.’

The new direct service to Jakarta from London is likely to open up other routes from South East Asia to Europe. The airline will also be offering new routes to Auckland and Brisbane.

The Luxury Collection Hotels and Resorts Opens Keraton at The Plaza Hotel in Jakarta

The Luxury Collection Hotels and Resorts, a brand from US-based Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, has opened its 80th property in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The newly opened Keraton at The Plaza, a Luxury Collection Hotel, features 140 guestrooms and suites. The hotel is the first of the four new Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts scheduled to open in Asia in the coming six months. The other hotels soon to open are The Royal Begonia in Sanya, China, Twelve at Hengshan in Shanghai, China, and ITC Grand Chola in Chennai, India. The brand currently owns properties in around 30 countries.

Paul James, the company global brand leader for The Luxury Collection and St Regis Hotels & Resorts, said, ‘As The Luxury Collection portfolio grows and the nature of our guests becomes more global, it is exciting to introduce Keraton at The Plaza as our first of four new build hotels in Asia this year, a hotel that is at once a portal to the rich cultural heritage of Jakarta and a gateway to experience the city’s contemporary art, design and cuisine.’

Keraton at The Plaza claims to offer a decor that reflects a contemporary Indonesian culture, and its amenities include a signature Luxury Collection Concierge service, an authentic luxury Indonesian dining experience, the Keraton Lounge, and a Health Club, as well as complimentary Internet and parking services. The hotel is also set to feature a business centre and an Executive Boardroom for corporate conferences.