Posted on: 02 December 2013 by Mark Howells
Garuda Indonesia has officially celebrated the first day of commercial service of its first ATR 72-600, with the aircraft taking to the sky from Denpasar (Bali), continuing through its inaugural day by landing at the airports of Labuan Bajo (East Nusa Tenggara province) and Bima (West Nusa Tenggara province).
The aircraft is the first of 25 firm ATR 72-600 orders, plus 10 options, put into the airline’s fleet in a joint agreement between Garuda, ATR and leasing firm Nordic Aviation Capital. The airline's regular scheduled operations with these new ATRs will start on 3 December, with flights scheduled from Bali to Labuan Bajo and Ende, and from Bali to Bima and Mataram.
To optimise the operation of this new fleet of ATR 72-600s, Garuda Indonesia and ATR have recently signed a Global Maintenance Agreement (GMA) extending over 10 years and covering the 25 aircraft fleet. Based on this agreement, ATR will handle – from its Customer Support Center in Singapore – the management of the maintenance activities of Garuda Indonesia's ATR fleet, while ensuring the availability of key spare parts, such as propellers and fuel nozzles.
Commenting on the first take-off of this ATR aircraft, Emirsyah Satar, president and CEO of Garuda Indonesia, declared, “Today's flight is a major milestone in our policy of expanding regional connectivity across our country. The introduction of our new modern regional ATR turboprop aircraft represents a big step for our 'Quantum Leap 2011-2015' transformation and expansion programme, which aims to specially strengthen our domestic service”.
Satar added, “This ATR 72-600 with our “Explore” brand will increase the connectivity between new tourism and new economic growth destinations in remote areas as well as to explore the richness and diversity of Indonesia.”