Garuda Signs Code-Share Pact with Hainan Airlines

SANUR ~ Garuda Indonesia signed a code-share agreement here this week with China’s Hainan Airlines, as Indonesia’s national carrier moves to carve out a larger slice of the burgeoning Chinese market.

Under the agreement, Garuda will provide the aircraft from Jakarta to Beijing three times a week, using Boeing-737 Next Generation airliners, adding to its existing 13 weekly flights to Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, while the fourth-largest Chinese airline is entitled to sell 20 seats on each flight.

According to Den Jiang, general manager of marketing at Hainan Airlines, the agreement is designed to strengthen both airlines’ positions in the cut-throat airline sector.

“The number of passenger traveling between Beijing-Jakarta is growing very fast. With cooperating with Garuda, we can lower the operational costs and increase the load factors,” he told The Bali Times at the signing of the agreement at the Sanur Beach Hotel on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Garuda expects to improve its flight services, especially regarding connecting flights from Beijing to other Chinese cities, flights that are operated by Hainan.

“We welcome the arrival of foreign airlines into Indonesia. By having this code share, we want to enrich our commercial aspects in order to become more competitive,” said Garuda’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, Agus Priyanto.

In 2006, Hainan Airlines carried 50 million passengers on domestic and foreign routes, while Garuda carried 8.2 million people on its network, more than 275,000 of them to China, according to the airlines’ data.

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