On 1 November Garuda Indonesia launched its Kalimantan intercity connections linking four main cities on this huge island, namely: Balikpapan, Palangkaraya, Pontianak and Putusibau. Earlierthis year, Garuda opened three new routes, which are between Balikpapan and Berau (East Kalimantan), Banjarmasin (South Kalimantan) , and Manado, capital city of North Sulawesi.
The operation of the new Balikpapan-Palangkaraya-Pontianak-Putusibau vv route is meant to meet the strong demand from the service sector who requested for fast and efficient flights between cities on this large island of Kalimantan in view of the rapid growth in trade and economic activities among these cities
Before now, connections to other Kalimantan cities had to be routed through Jakarta on Java, but since Garuda established Balikpapan as one of the airline’s hubs, travel within Kalimantan, but also to other cities east on Sulawesi and other east Indonesian islands, has become faster and more efficient.
The Balikpapan-Palangkaraya-Pontianak-Putusibau v v. flights are operated daily using ATR 72-600 “Explore”aircrafts with 70 seats capacity in economy.
GA 7522 leaves Balikpapan (East Kalimantan) at 08.30 WITA (Central Indonesia Time), and arrives at Palangkaraya (Central Kalimantan) at 08.30 WIB (West Indonesia Time – there is a one hour difference between the two) .The flight will continue departing Palangkaraya at 09.00 WIB, arriving at Pontianak (West Kalimantan) at 10.25 WIB. Changing number to GA7524 the flight leaves forPutusibau (Central Kalimantan) at 10.55 WIB , arriving here at 11.55 WIB.
On the return flight GA 7525 departs Putusibauat 12.25 WIB to arrive in Pontianak 13.30 WIB; departing Pontianak 14.00 WIB and arrives Palangkaraya at 15.25 WIB. From here the flight takes off at 15.55 WIB to reach Balikpapan at 17.55 WITA.
Garuda Indonesia Director for Strategy, Business Development and Risk Management, Judi Rivajantoro,on the occasion of the launch, confirmed that the new routes form an inseparable part of Garuda’s expansion program, in particular its network expansion plan.
The four above-mentioned cities have high and growing trade and economic potentials, which means that they require good connectivity to support further growth, stated Judi Rivajantoro.
In line with Garuda’ plans to expand and strengthen its domestic network especially in emerging economic regions and tourist destinations scattered around Indonesia, Garuda Indonesia has introduced its sub-brands “Explore” and “Explore Jet”.
Furthermore, to support the expanding company, in 1914 Garuda will add 27 new aircrafts to its fleet, comprising 2 Boeing 777-300 arcrafts, 4 Airbus A330, 12 Boeing 737-800NG, 3 Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen, and 6 ATR 72-600 planes.
At present Garuda Indonesia Group operates140 planes, consisting of Boeing 777-300ER, Airbus A330-200/300, Boeing 737-800NG, Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen, and ATR72-600 aircrafts with an average age of 5 years.