The thriving national carrier, Garuda Indonesia, is likely to be faced with a new full service carrier in 2012 backed by the existing Indonesian low cost carrier, Lion Air. The new airline, which has applied to the Indonesian civil aviation authority for a new Airline Operators Certificate is planned to be called "Space Air" and reports say that it has been set up specifically to compete with Garuda as a response to the National carrier's growth in the Indonesian low cost market through their subsidiary, CitiLink. Space Air will use a fleet of new Boeing 737 aircraft which will probably come as part of a giant $21.7 billion order placed with Boeing which is the aircraft manufacturers largest ever commercial aircraft order. Boeing have reported that the deal for an extra 230 short-haul jets will take Lion Air's outstanding aircraft orders to more than 400 new aircraft. "If you're looking at a short term view, people will call us nuts, but we're talking about an opportunity here and we're taking a long term view," said Edward Sirait, a Lion Air director.
Lion Air currently operate a fleet of 92 aircraft but is banned from flying to the European Union. Garuda Indonesia, which is allowed to fly to Europe and has regular services from Jakarta to Amsterdam currently operates 98 aircraft with a further 154 on order. The demand for Air Travel to, from and within Indonesia is growing rapidly with the unique nature of Indonesia's topography, which consists of more than 13,000 islands makes flying preferable to surface transport. Garuda has recently seen a complete re-birth emerging as one of the world's great global airlines. This has been recognised by SkyTrax who have rated it alongside Malaysian Airlines and Singapore Airlines as one of only seven 5 star airlines worldwide.
Alternative Airlines have a special relationship with Garuda Indonesia and their best fares can be found on the Alternative Airlines price/flight display available through our on-line booking facility.