Garuda resumes Jakarta-Riyadh-Dammam service

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Garuda Indonesia has resumed operations on the Jakarta-Riyadh-Dammam service, boosting air links between the two key Muslim nations of Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

The airline says in a statement that it will operate a Boeing 747-400 on the three-times weekly service. It adds that this will provide a bigger market consisting of business travellers, Indonesian workers and pilgrims to Islam's holy spots in Saudi Arabia, while encouraging Saudi tourists to visit Indonesia.

"It is consistent with the airline's efforts to improve service quality and meet market demands for flight connections between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia," adds Garuda. The airline already operates 11 weekly flights to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia's second largest city, according to schedules in Innovata.

The airline has embarked on a major expansion of its services in 2009 as it takes delivery of new Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft and redeploys some of the older aircraft in its fleet. In addition to a slew of domestic routes, it started Denpasar-Shanghai, Surabaya-Hong Kong and Denpasar-Hong Kong international services this year.

In the coming months, new domestic services will include Jakarta-Ambon-Ternate in July, Jakarta-Palu in August, Jakarta-Sorong-Manokwari and Jakarta-Tarakan in September. Upcoming international services include Jakarta-Sydney and Jakarta-Melbourne in August 2009, and Denpasar-Adelaide in November 2009.