Garuda Indonesia is planning to launch flights to the US as early as next year.
At present, the national carrier is unable to fly to the US as Indonesia has a ‘Category 2’ safety rating with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which means that Indonesian airlines are not permitted to launch flights to the country.
But Indonesia’s Antara news agency reported Garuda’s president, Arif Wibowo, as saying that this could be resolved by 2017.
“Next year, we will try and clear this test as it is part of our five-year plan, or this may be achieved even earlier,” Wibowo was quoted saying.
He added that Los Angeles and New York would be attractive destinations, but that flights would not operate direct.
“The number of potential passengers departing from Los Angeles is 120,000, while many more depart from New York,” he stated. “We want to start direct flights but that is not possible as of now. The option is to fly via [Tokyo’s] Narita [Airport].”
With regards to the FAA audit, Indonesia’s Director General of Air Transportation, Suprasetyo, said the country’s rating could be upgraded as early as next month.
“We have completed and reported all the documents,” Suprasetyo stated. “God willing, this July we will receive the good news as Ramadan and Eid gift.”