Sampiriyanto Sunar, Station & Services Manager Garuda Indonesia
January - March 2018
Expanding Routes and Frequencies
Sampiriyanto Sunar of Garuda Indonesia talks about how positive response in the Indian market has led the airlines to consider updating their routes and frequencies.
Since the time Garuda Indonesia started flying out of India, how has been the growth of the airline?
Since the time we have begun operations in India in December 2016, we have seen a sustained growth in passenger traffic to Indonesia. Over just one year, the growth has been in line with our expectations. This continued momentum has encouraged us to bring in new plans for the Indian market.
Other than your current Mumbai-Jakarta route, is Garuda Indonesia planning to focus on any other route in the near future?
In the last one year, feedback from the Indian market, including passengers, and our travel partners has been very positive. Considering the way the Indian market has appreciated our services, we have been highly encouraged to consider updating our current Mumbai-Jakarta-Bali route. We will be flying direct from Mumbai to Bali, which means the passengers can reach there faster and earlier.
There are other airlines flying in the same routes. How is the competition?
Competition is always good, and Indian market has lots of it! In the span of one year (Dec 2016-2017), there have been multiple new entrants in the market. This eventually is great news for the Indian passengers. Flying with a multi award winning airline, is certainly to the traveller’s advantage. In addition to winning ‘World’s Best Cabin Crew’ for the fourth consecutive time, Garuda Indonesia also re-entered the ranks of ‘Top 10 Global Airlines’, in June 2017.
How customised are Garuda Indonesia flights for Indian travellers in terms of in-flight experience?
We understand that good food is quite important to Indian travellers. We offer mouth-watering cuisine for all our passengers. The menu is rotated periodically and has selections from the Indian cuisine as well.
What is the most critical challenge you see in operating from India?
So far, the Indian market is growing very rapidly. Indian passengers want to explore newer Indonesian destinations including Bali. For us, the biggest challenge is to be able to accommodate the growing demand well in time. Of course, our extensive network within Indonesia will ensure they are able to fly to the Indonesian destination of their choice with the same level of service they expect from Garuda Indonesia. The Embassy of The Republic of Indonesia in New Delhi, The Consulate General Office in Mumbai and the Visit Indonesia Tourism Officer in Delhi and Mumbai always extend their wholehearted support to us and we highly appreciate that.
As an international carrier, do you have any comment on the airports of India?
The airports of India are very supportive and are our good partners, and also work closely with us. This helps to ensure that we can maintain our highest level of service for the Indian passengers. Traffic congestion is one concern that the Indian aviation industry is facing and we are sure everyone is working to resolve this.