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Garuda in bid to join SkyTeam

Garuda Indonesia has been busy forging bilateral partnerships with other airlines in recent months as part of a wider bid to join the SkyTeam alliance.

The Indonesian flag carrier has faced severe financial troubles in recent years but has been carrying out a restructuring that it says has proven successful to date. It says it is ready to forge new partnerships, and in recent months has tied up with Singapore Airlines and Turkish ­Airlines of Star and Korean Air of the SkyTeam. Under its memorandum of understanding with Korean covering enhanced marketing ties, the South Korean carrier has "signalled its endorsement of Garuda Indonesia's intention to become a member of the alliance".

Garuda and Korean already codeshare on flights between Indonesia and South Korea. As part of their enhanced marketing agreement they will explore ­"possibilities of codesharing on Garuda Indonesia's and Korean Air's domestic flights".

SkyTeam has been seeking to expand its reach in Asia, where it currently has Korean and China Southern Airlines as full members. In June it said it was planning to start formal negotiations with Vietnam Airlines with a view to bringing it in as a full member. China Southern has also said it will help Taiwan's China Airlines become a member.

Garuda's co-operation deal with Turkish Airlines, meanwhile, covers codesharing on flights between Istanbul and Garuda's Jakarta base and both Bangkok and ­Singapore.

Its pact with SIA will see it codesharing on SIA-operated flights between Singapore and the Indonesian island of Bali.

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