Garuda Indonesia's low-cost arm Citilink is preparing to launch long-haul services in the fourth quarter with Airbus A330-900s.

Speaking at a press conference on 30 June, Citilink's chief executive Juliandra Nurtjahjo says the airline will receive two A330neos between October and December, which will enable it to launch flights into Frankfurt and Jeddah.

Nurtjahjo explains the move to launch long-haul flights is part of its long-term business plan and a strategy alignment with Garuda.

He adds that Frankfurt was chosen as the first long-haul destination due to its status as a major European hub alongside Amsterdam and London. The German city's hub status also means passengers can connect easily to other destinations.

Cirium schedules data shows that Citilink only operates scheduled flights to Cambodia and Malaysia, as well as within Indonesia. It also operates charters to three points in China.

Besides Germany and Saudi Arabia, Citilink is looking to expand into Australia and Vietnam, though the Citilink chief did not share further details.

Fleet-wise, the plan is for the A330neos to be configured with 365 seats in two classes: 42 in premium economy and 323 in economy, says Nurtjahjo.

In response to FlightGlobal's query, parent company Garuda says the two jets bound for its low-cost unit will come from its order of 14 A330neos. However, the airline was unable to comment if Citilink will take up more A330neos, or if Garuda will transfer any of its 24 A330-200s or -300s in service to Citilink.

Citilink did not respond to FlightGlobal's request for comment on its long-haul plans.

Cirium Fleets Analyzer shows that six A330-900s Garuda will receive have been assigned their serial numbers. MSNs 1946, 1947 and 1948 are scheduled to arrive this year, while MSNs 1958, 1959 and 1961 are due to arrive in the first half of 2020.

Source: Cirium Dashboard