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About Garuda Indonesia

First Commercial Flight
Go Public
Feb 11, 2011
Joined Skyteam
Mar 5, 2014

Garuda Indonesia, the New Era of Commercial Flight in Indonesia

The First Commercial Flight in Indonesia

The first commercial flight in Indonesia was first created by Indonesian Air Force (AURI) by renting out planes called “Indonesian Airways” to Burma’s government in January 26th, 1949. “Indonesian Airways” role ended in Round Table Conferences on 1949. All cabin crew and the airplanes themselves returned to Indonesia in 1950. When they arrived in Indonesia, all planes were officially returned to AURI in Air Force Service formation.

The Beginning of Indonesia’s National Airline

With the wrap up on Round Table Conferences in 1949, Netherlands was required to give all Dutch East Indies wealth and resources to United States of Indonesia, including KLM-IIB (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij- Inter-Insulair Bedrijf) Airline. KLM-IIB is one of the subsidiaries from KLM after taking over privately-owned K.N.I.L.M (Koninklijke Nederlandshindische Luchtvaart Maatschappij) that had existed since 1928 in Dutch East Indies area.

The Birth of Garuda Indonesian Airways (GIA)

On December 21th, 1949 there was a further discussion from Round Table Conference result between the Indonesian government and KLM airline about a national airline. President Soekarno decided and chose “Garuda Indonesian Airways” (GIA) as the name of this new airline.

In preparation of Indonesian air staff, KLM allowed their staff to keep on doing their duty and train the new staff from Indonesia. On this transition period, the first ever CEO of GIA was from the Netherlands, Dr. E. Konijneburg. The first fleet of GIA was inherited from KLM-IIB and not from “Indonesian Airways” that was owned by AURI.

The First Flight of Garuda Indonesia Airways (GIA)

One day after the Netherlands acknowledged the sovereignty of Indonesian Republic on December 28th, 1949, two airplanes Dakota (DC-3) flew from Kemayoran airport, from Jakarta to Yogyakarta to pick up Soekarno. This event also signified the return of the capital of Indonesia to Jakarta. From then on, GIA kept on expanding until it is now known as Garuda Indonesia.

Then, in a year later, in 1950, Garuda Indonesia officially became a state owned company. During that period, the company operated a fleet of 38 aircrafts comprising 22 DC-3, 8 Catalina flying boats, and 8 Convair 240. Garuda Indonesia’s fleet continued to grow, and eventually made its first flight to mecca carrying Indonesian hajj pilgrims in 1956. In 1965, the first flight to European countries started was made with Amsterdam as the final destination.


Garuda Indonesia fleet and operations underwent large scale revitalization and restructuring throughout the 1980s. This prompted the Company to develop comprehensive training programs for its air and ground crews and established a dedicated training facility in West Jakarta, named the Garuda Indonesia Training Center.


In Addition the Company also built an Aircraft Maintenance Center at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Then in the early 1990s, Garuda Indonesia developed a long-term growth strategy which was applied until the year 2000. The Company also continued to expand its fleet placing Garuda Indonesia among the 30 largest airlines of the world.


Along with initiatives in business development in 2005, a new management team took office and formulated new plans for the future of the company. The new management undertook a comprehensive re-evaluation and overall restructuring with the objective improving operational efficiency, regained financial stability that involved efforts in debt restructuring, increased awareness among employees concerning the importance of service to customers and, most importantly, revived and revitalized the Garuda Indonesia spirit.


The successful completion of the company’s debt restructuring program opened the way for Garuda Indonesia to go public on 11th February 2011. The company officially became a public company after the initial public offering of 6,335,738,000 shares. The company’s shares were listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange on February 11, 2011 with code GIAA. This was one important milestone after the company completed the transformation on its business through hard work and dedication of all parties.


Presenting a new level of service excellence in air travel, Garuda Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia, seamlessly connects 83 destinations worldwide, including exotic locations in the beautiful archipelago of Indonesia all at once.

With more than 600 daily flights and a fleet of 196 aircrafts by January 2017, Garuda Indonesia proudly serves its passengers with the award-winning distinct service “Garuda Indonesia Experience”, which highlights Indonesia’s warm hospitality and rich diverse culture.

To provide better and more convenient services, Garuda Indonesia continuously strives through its ongoing transformation program. The progress of the transformation can be seen from the achievement of a Skytrax’s 5-star Airline rating as well as the winning of the prestigious “The World’s Best Cabin Crew” for four consecutive years in 2014 to 2017, “The World’s Most Loved Airline 2016” and “Best Economy Class” award in 2013, also from Skytrax.

*last update: January 2019

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