Abu Dhabi: strategy Etihad Airways on Thursday signed a codeshare agreement with the Indonesian national carrier, Garuda Indonesia, continuing its growth strategy by way of forming partnerships.
The agreement, which comes into effect on October 28, is Etihad Airways’ 42nd codeshare and Garuda Indonesia’s 11th.
“This enables us to sell from our worldwide network not only the capital Jakarta, but also Bali is also an important destination,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer told reporters on Thursday during a press briefing.
He added that Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation, is an “important source of tourism growth”.
“Both airlines are well positioned to benefit from the increasing demand for business and leisure travel between Indonesia and the Middle East and Europe. It also opens up more of Indonesia to visitors from overseas, particularly with the addition of Bali,” he said.
In the first phase of the partnership, Etihad Airways will place its ‘EY’ code on Garuda Indonesia’s services between Jakarta and Denpasar (Bali), and Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.
Subject to regulatory approval, Garuda Indonesia will place its ‘GA’ code on Etihad Airways’ flights from Jakarta to up to 31 destinations in the Middle East, Europe and North America.
Emirsyah Satar, President and CEO of Garuda Indonesia, told reporters that with the partnership with Etihad Airways, Indonesians will be able to go anywhere in the world from Abu Dhabi.
Garuda, a public listed company, currently has a fleet of 94 aircraft which is expected to reach 194 by 2015. Next year, the airline will be receiving the delivery 24 new aircraft, according to Satar. “We are putting much capacity into the region, into Asia,” he said.
The agreement will enable 11 flights a week between Jakarta and Abu Dhabi as of December 2 this year, Hogan said.
“As we synchronise and build, there’s the opportunity for trade, for tourism, for investment which we see will benefit both economies,” he said.
The two airlines expect the combined load factor to be between the 78 and 80 per cent, Hogan said. “What’s more important to me is how we improve the yield and cargo opportunities too.”
Etihad currently serves 86 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, with a fleet of 67 aircraft. The airline holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus.
Garuda Indonesia, meanwhile, is a full-service carrier serving 32 domestic and 18 international destinations.