Yay: Garuda Indonesia Formally Requests LAX Flights

Filed Under: Garuda Indonesia

Last June we first learned that Garuda Indonesia wanted to begin flying to the U.S., which I’ve been super excited about. However, they had a couple of hurdles to overcome before they could do so.

The biggest hurdle was that Indonesia didn’t comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards, meaning they didn’t have the Category 1 rating required in order to operate flights to the U.S. Fortunately they managed to get a Category 1 rating last August, so now Indonesian airlines are allowed to start flying to the U.S.


We’ve known that Garuda Indonesia has been hoping to launch flights to the U.S. in mid-2017, which was further hinted at a couple of weeks back when Garuda Indonesia substituted the plane on their London Heathrow route as of this summer.

Well, the good news is that Garuda Indonesia is one step from launching flights between Indonesia and the U.S. The bad news is that it’s a bit later than expected, as they’re targeting November 2017 for their launch.

Garuda Indonesia has filed with the DOT requesting to operate 3x weekly flights between Jakarta and Los Angeles via Tokyo Narita as of November 2017. They’ve stated that the flight will operate with a Boeing 777-300ER.


They add some leeway in the filing, suggesting that they want to fly via Tokyo or via another airport due to the range limitations of the plane. Furthermore, they state that the plane could be configured with either 26 business class seats and 367 economy seats, or eight first class seats, 38 business class seats, and 268 economy seats. I certainly hope that the route is primarily operated by a three cabin plane, given how good their first class is.


Their product is so great, and first class fares are consistently excellent. Even when there’s not some special promotion, one-way first class fares between Jakarta and Amsterdam run ~$1,850. That’s amazing for a walk-up first class fare.


There’s still no chance in hell Garuda Indonesia will turn a profit on this route. While I love their service, the flight as such isn’t operating a route that isn’t otherwise served. There are already over a dozen airlines offering one stop service between Los Angeles and Jakarta. So this route seems to be more motivated by prestige than by profit.

Nonetheless I can’t wait for Garuda Indonesia to launch this route, and especially to fly with them between Los Angeles and Tokyo!

  1. WHAT? $1850 for a one-way Jakarta-Dam? I paid that much last year for a BUSINESS class fare! Nonetheless, I think they lost an opportunity to fly Jakarta-LA via Shanghai. Given the already heavy load between Jakarta and Shanghai, plus they’ll stand out from US airlines an mainland Chinese airlines. Maybe they’ll codeshare with Delta..

  2. What are the best sources of points for booking first class award space on Garuda? I want to position myself so that, when the floodgates open on award space on this route, my credit card or airline points are in the right place to jump in.

  3. While a small advantage, the fact of having a direct flight rather than a change of planes could help Garuda out a bit on load factors.

  4. As a skyteam flyer, this is pretty great news, since it makes it way easier to get to CGK. Hopefully they also operate out of the new Terminal 2/3 for DL connections at LAX. Of course, I usually fly economy, so their amazing first class is wasted on me. Anybody have experience flying them in economy?

  5. @ Lucky: You quoted “There’s still no chance in hell Garuda Indonesia will turn a profit on this route.”

    Actually, if anyone has some free time to read the full manuscript of their DoT application, Garuda themselves expect more than $26 million operating loss for the route in the first year.

    Ok. LOL !!!

  6. Can anybody tell why the first year will have 26million losses? Is it because of low yield, promo airfare? Or it is because high cost upfront to setup new route?

  7. @Nick

    Never been to Indonesia maybe and still under the impression people still run around in loinclothes? I can assure you that Asia has generally lots of FC flyers, who actually pay for the seats.

    Why not just pay. For us outside the US it is quite normal to do so.

  8. @ron unfortunate that stereotype is only valid for the low class. The meddle and high class are actually wealthier by average compared to developed countries. For instance, Amy who has legs says a Mercedes E class here can easily buy a S63/BMW i8. That just shows the disparity between the classes

  9. @Nick: Jakarta has a large number of very wealthy Indonesians who are fairly indiscriminate with their spend. My TG flights between CGKBKK are typically full in C, including a flight I took yesterday. The same is true going to SIN, KUL and DPS (weekends). I know affluent locals to be ambivalent to pricing, happily paying 2-3x what I would for a C fare. Worse, I’ve seen this done with 1-ways thinking it makes a flexible return simpler. Go figure.

  10. Good observation. We know of mainland Chinese carriers’ 5th freedom via other countries but now that I think about it I know of no 5th freedom routes via China. Not even sure if the Chinese government would want to allow that, rather than protecting their own carriers.

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