Emirsyah Satar, Garuda Indonesia


Willie Walsh

Garuda Indonesia Airways

Indonesia's flag-carrier and largest state-owned airline, operating scheduled domestic services linking more than twenty destinations from hubs at Jakarta, Bali, Medan and Surabaya. International services are flown to over twenty destinations in the Middle East, Far East, Australasia and Europe. Citilink is a low-cost domestic subsidiary.


Date established:26 Jan 1949                
Date operations started: 31 Mar 1950


Founded the day after Indonesia achieved independence from Dutch rule in December 1949. Named "Garuda" after a mythical bird. Officially incorporated on 31 March 1950 as a joint venture between the Indonesian government and KLM, effectively taking over the operations of the Dutch flag carrier's subsidiary in the Dutch East Indies, KNILM.

Domestic operations commenced with a fleet of 22 Douglas DC-3s and eight Consolidated Catalina flying boats.

Garuda was nationalised on 12 July 1954. The first international service was launched to Singapore later that year. KLM continued to provide technical support until September 1956.

Garuda's first jet equipment, the Convair 990, entered service in September 1963. The new aircraft enabled the carrier to expand its network beyond purely domestic and regional service. The carrier's new international routes reached Europe in March 1965, initially serving Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Indonesian domestic carrier Merpati Nusantara Airlines (founded September 1962) was acquired in October 1978 but continued to operate largely independently and under its own identity. Merpati subsequently took over many of Garuda's domestic services. Low-cost domestic subsidiary Citilink was established on 15 July 2001 to operate point to point services between half a dozen destinations.

On 28 June 2007, the European Union added all Indonesian airlines to the list of carriers banned from flying in EU airspace due to safety concerns. The EU renewed this ban on 28 November 2007. .

Garuda was one of four Indonesian Airlines which had its EU ban lifted with effect from 15 July 2009.

International services to Europe were relaunched on 1 June 2010 with a services from Jakarta to Amsterdam via Dubai. from June 2010, after an absence of five years.

In Pictures: Garuda Indonesia