Indonesia’s flagship carrier Garuda will start offering flights between Osaka and Jakarta by October. This is part of the company’s international expansion strategy and also to build on the country’s growing interest in Japan. This was announced by Garuda President and CEO Emirsyah Satar, just a few weeks before the first anniversary of the service between Tokyo’s Haneda airport and Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali.
Tourists from Indonesia to Japan increased 64.1% in 2012 and the numbers reached beyond 100,000 for the first time. The rapid economic growth in Indonesia can be credited for this increasing interest in traveling abroad and Japan is a popular destination because of its unique culture and mouth-watering food. But another source of interest is because of Japan’s cycling-friendly environment. Cycling is a popular sport in Indonesia, especially for the wealthy. It’s because of this that Garuda has organized a cycling tour with Yamanashi Prefecture, which around 30 Indonesians will participate in. “What is effective in Indonesia is word of mouth. That’s why we brought this group of cyclists,” Satar said. Another tour is scheduled later this month, and a tour is also being planned with Ehime Prefecture to build on the launch of the new flights to Osaka.
Garuda also provides flights to Bali from Narita and Kansai International Airports, as well as daily flights to Jakarta from Narita. The new route from Osaka will have four flights a week. Satar said they are planning to increase Garuda’s global destinations from the current 19 to 22.