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 executive-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.