Garuda Indonesia Could Retire 777s, Cut First Class

Garuda Indonesia Could Retire 777s, Cut First Class

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Garuda Indonesia has been undergoing a major restructuring, and as part of that the airline is looking at significantly cutting its fleet. One aircraft retirement in particular stands out, and could spell the end of first class for Garuda Indonesia (which seemed inevitable even pre-pandemic).

Garuda Indonesia could retire entire 777 fleet

Garuda Indonesia plans to significantly scale back its fleet, and there’s a document circulating about the carrier’s fleet plan starting in 2022. The plan calls for Garuda Indonesia’s long haul fleet to be significantly scaled back, including:

  • Retiring all 10 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft
  • Retiring all seven Airbus A330-200 aircraft
  • Retiring 10 of 17 Airbus A330-300 aircraft
  • Canceling an order for 13 Airbus A330-900neo aircraft, leaving Garuda Indonesia with three of these planes, and Citilink with two of these planes

If Garuda Indonesia moves forward with this plan, suffice to say that this would have massive implications for the carrier’s long haul route network. Garuda Indonesia’s long haul fleet would consist of just three Airbus A330-900neos and seven Airbus A330-300s.

If that were the case, the airline would have to greatly cut back its network to Australia, Europe, and even within Asia, since most of the longer flights within Asia are operated by wide body aircraft.

Garuda Indonesia could retire all 10 Boeing 777s

This would be the end of Garuda Indonesia’s first class

If Garuda Indonesia were to retire its entire Boeing 777 fleet, this would also spell the end of the carrier’s first class product. Garuda Indonesia’s first class is phenomenal, and I rank it as the world’s fourth best first class product.

Even pre-pandemic there had been rumors of Garuda Indonesia discontinuing first class. Back in the day, eight of Garuda Indonesia’s 10 Boeing 777s featured a first class cabin. However, over time the number of planes with the product decreased. In early 2020, Garuda Indonesia was down to just two 777s with first class, as many planes had been reconfigured to remove the cabin.

As you can see, Garuda Indonesia eliminating first class altogether just seems like the logical progression at this point.

Garuda Indonesia’s 777 first class

Bottom line

Garuda Indonesia is undergoing a restructuring, and plans on shrinking significantly. We’ve now learned more specifically about the Indonesian flag carrier’s plans for shrinking. This seems to include retiring all 777s, all A330-200s, and canceling most A330-900neo orders.

If Garuda Indonesia does in fact retire all 10 of its 777s, that will also mean the end of first class at the airline, which would be a shame, though also not unexpected.

What do you make of Garuda Indonesia’s plans to shrink its fleet?

(Tip of the hat to PinterPoin)

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  1. Stephen Morrissey

    Having fewer aircraft may lead to fewer "incidents."
    Other than the 49 previous ones. Good job Garuda!

  2. JOHN

    I flew Garuda a few years ago from Sydney to London in business class and back from Amsterdam and their service in the air was fantastic but on the ground in their home in Jakarta I was underwhelmed to say the least.

    While it is shame to see first class cabins go, most business class seats today a way superior to any first class from 25 years ago and really it will be gone...

    I flew Garuda a few years ago from Sydney to London in business class and back from Amsterdam and their service in the air was fantastic but on the ground in their home in Jakarta I was underwhelmed to say the least.

    While it is shame to see first class cabins go, most business class seats today a way superior to any first class from 25 years ago and really it will be gone in name only with economy still economy. Premium economy pretty much the same type of seat as the first business class seats were and the current best business class seats superior to most pre 2000 first class seats.

    1. Frederik

      I complete disagree regarding premium economy approaching anything near old business class, premium economy Today is much closer to old style economy on legacy carriers 747 products 20 years ago.

      The current generation of premium economy products seats are less plush, spacious and chunky to fit more in and make it lighter, and also such as in the case of Virgin Atlantic have shrunk their product from what was US Domestic First 21 inch thick...

      I complete disagree regarding premium economy approaching anything near old business class, premium economy Today is much closer to old style economy on legacy carriers 747 products 20 years ago.

      The current generation of premium economy products seats are less plush, spacious and chunky to fit more in and make it lighter, and also such as in the case of Virgin Atlantic have shrunk their product from what was US Domestic First 21 inch thick leather armchair style to 18.5 width slightly more padded and tolerable economy style seat. If anything premium economy today is like economy was pre 2005, since now economy is a barebones basic service in many cases now with extra including not only seat selection costing extra, but even regarding food and hold luggage on long haul flights.

  3. VT-CIE

    The good news is that Garuda’s phenomenal service and cabin crew will hopefully be pretty much the same in business class. Also, this does not mean that Garuda will lose its Skytrax 5-star ranking, since QR is perhaps the world’s best airline not to have F, and it remains a 5-star airline. Of course, no one trusts Skytrax any more since it made LH 5-star, but for GA it was well justified, and it truly reflects Indonesian hospitality.

  4. STUART

    Not sure Alain is all over the SYD to DPS route. QF were offering A330 with lie flat beds prior to covid19. I flew with QF several times in 2019 and early 2020 and it was an excellent product.

  5. David

    Sad. One of my favorite most memorable flights was GA 777 F from LHR to CGK (home base). Sad to see this happen!

  6. ryan

    Bummer, I got to fly GA F from LHR back when they had that service and it was amazing. The crew and food was outstanding, sad to see it go.

  7. Alain MIllett

    As a regular FF ( pre Covid) on Garuda from Sydney to Denpasar Bali where we have a home, this is a disaster for me.

    Garuda have the only decent business class on this route.

    The alternatives are Virgin Australia who use a domestic J seat on a 737. Kind of acceptable on a day flight but never on the rest eye which is their only option SYD DPS

    jetstar or Qantas also have...

    As a regular FF ( pre Covid) on Garuda from Sydney to Denpasar Bali where we have a home, this is a disaster for me.

    Garuda have the only decent business class on this route.

    The alternatives are Virgin Australia who use a domestic J seat on a 737. Kind of acceptable on a day flight but never on the rest eye which is their only option SYD DPS

    jetstar or Qantas also have a poor offering !!

    We sometimes choose to fly SQ instead

    Garuda have done daily A330 flights to both Sydney and Melbourne from DPS and 4 or 5 rotations each week to Jakarta from both ports .

  8. derek

    Passengers for many of the international flights can feed through Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Not a huge loss for humanity although it might be more inconvenient for someone in secondary cities in Indonesia who might have 2 connections instead of one.

  9. Kuloko

    that is obviously the end of the world as we know it!

  10. Alec

    You should hold Wakes when planes/first class are retired and share pictures back from the "good ole days" to reminisce

  11. Mick

    Just re-read the top first class list... Still cant believe Etihad first isnt higher ;). JAL is kind of garbage IMO :) And Cathay is just a big wide open seat (although nice). Etihad you get your own suite!

    1. Frederik

      Only in the unlikely event that they bring back the a380. It isn’t even on the Etihad Our Fleet section of their website now.

  12. Ray

    This had to be done. Kudos to their management team for being more pragmatic than some of their neighbours, notably TG & MH. I wish them luck in the future.

Featured Comments Load all 14 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Frederik

Only in the unlikely event that they bring back the a380. It isn’t even on the Etihad Our Fleet section of their website now.

Frederik

I complete disagree regarding premium economy approaching anything near old business class, premium economy Today is much closer to old style economy on legacy carriers 747 products 20 years ago. The current generation of premium economy products seats are less plush, spacious and chunky to fit more in and make it lighter, and also such as in the case of Virgin Atlantic have shrunk their product from what was US Domestic First 21 inch thick leather armchair style to 18.5 width slightly more padded and tolerable economy style seat. If anything premium economy today is like economy was pre 2005, since now economy is a barebones basic service in many cases now with extra including not only seat selection costing extra, but even regarding food and hold luggage on long haul flights.

Stephen Morrissey

Having fewer aircraft may lead to fewer "incidents." Other than the 49 previous ones. Good job Garuda!

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