Following its maiden flight in 1949, Garuda Indonesia, previously named "Garuda Indonesian Airways", expanded its fleet. It began the service with a Douglas DC-3 Dakota and a PBY Catalina. Later on, Garuda Indonesia added a DH Heron and Convair 340 into its armada.
In 1956, for the first time Garuda Indonesia served Indonesian hajj pilgrims to the Holy Land of Mecca in Saudi Arabia using a Convair 340.
The era of the 1960s was the time when Garuda Indonesia fleet grew rapidly. In 1961, a Lockheed Electra landed at Kemayoran Airport, Jakarta. Fiveears later, Garuda Indonesia strengthened its fleet with a four-engine jet, Douglas DC-8. At that time, Garuda Indonesia fleet consisted of distinguished aircraft of that era such as DC-3/C-47 Dakota, Convair 340, Convair 440, Lockheed Electra, Convair 990A, Fokker F-27 and DC-8.
In 1976, Garuda Indonesia operated its first wide-body aircraft, Douglas DC-10, which was registered as PK-GIA. A year later, Garuda Indonesia sidelined the turboprop engine Fokker F-27 from the service. This makes Garuda Indonesia as a full jet aircraft operator ever since, operating a fleet of DC-10, DC-9, DC-8 and F-28.
Commanding its growing fleet in 1980, Garuda Indonesia registered the service of wide-body Boeing 747-200. Two years later, the company received another wide-body aircraft, Airbus A300B4 FFCC (Forward Facing Crew Cockpit). The two-man cockpit was the idea of Mr. Wiweko Soepono, former President Director of Garuda Indonesia. In 1984, the company aircraft lineup consisted of Boeing 747-200, DC-10, Airbus A300B4, DC-9 and F-28. With 36 units of F-28 aircraft, Garuda Indonesia was the largest F-28 operator in the world at that time.
In 1994, Garuda Indonesia strengthened its fleet with the largest wide-body aircraft in the 1990s, the Boeing 747-400. In addition, the Garuda Indonesia fleets also reinforced with the Boeing 737 series 300, 400 and 500.
In 2009, Garuda Indonesia added a new line of technologically-advanced fleet by introducing Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 737-800 Next Generation into its lineup. Both aircraft types are equipped with in-flight entertainment, the Audio and Video on Demand (AVOD), in every seat. This offers a vast selection of movies, television programs, music videos and interactive games. In addition, Garuda Indonesia Business Class seats in Airbus A330 can be fully reclined up to 180 degrees (flat bed seat).
In 2012 Garuda Indonesia is welcoming new aircraft Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen.