Garuda Indonesia and Singapore Airlines have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore broader partnership opportunities, namely additional codeshares.

The agreement coincides with the launch of Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights on between Indonesia and Singapore, say the two carriers in a joint statement.

SIA 777-300ER Changi Airport

Source: Greg Waldron

An SIA 777-300ER at Singapore’s Changi Airport

Under Singapore’s VTL scheme, fully-vaccinated travellers arriving in Singapore need not serve quarantine.

“The scope of the collaboration includes the potential alignment of frequent flyer programmes, joint marketing activities, and initiatives to promote inbound tourism into Indonesia, subject to regulatory approval,” say the pair.

“Both partners are also committed to finding new growth opportunities in the air freight segment, as well as cooperation in maintenance, repair, and overhaul activities.”

Garuda is a member of SkyTeam, SIA of Star Alliance.

The two carriers already have a limited codesharing arrangement, which was reactivated on 1 October. The carriers codeshare on services from Singapore to Jakarta, Bali, and Surabaya. Cirium schedules data suggests that for the time being Garuda is placing its code on SIA services.

From 1 November, Garuda will place its code on SIA’s London Heathrow services, and from 1 January 2022 it will also place its code on SIA flights to Mumbai.

“This cooperation is a great opportunity to our business momentum, as Garuda Indonesia has become the first Indonesian airline that leverages vaccination-based travel programmes to and from Indonesia by collaborating with Singapore Airlines,” says Garuda chief executive Irfan Setlaputra.

“All these improvements to a comfortable and safe travel experience have been implemented in addition to the strict health protocols already in place.”