Southeast Asia is roughly divided by mainland and archipelago. Star serves both with Singapore and Thai, while OneWorld is archipelago with Malaysian, and SkyTeam is mainland with Vietnam. Both are also-rans compared to Star’s carriers. This extends SkyTeam into archipelago, albeit with a carrier with a spotty safety record in a country of airlines with spotty safety records. Indonesia is home to some of the most challenging flying conditions and airports in the world, along with endemic corruption. Setting aside award tickets, for many travelers the best option throughout Southeast Asia is sassy budget carrier Air Asia, with its rapidly growing route network out of hubs in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
After my prior experiences with Indonesian carriers like now-expired Adam Air, and Lion Air, I would prefer to fly Air Asia even when it means a connection back through Malaysia. That is my bias of a country that is probably excessive.
Points, Miles & Martinis looks at Garuda’s aircraft.
Garuda is hopefully counting on traffic from SkyTeam partners other than Delta. Presumably it will profit from former Dutch colonial ties with KLM. Where will Garuda fall on Delta’s new partner earning structure? Perhaps by then Delta will introduce a new level of anti earnings to penalize use of its partners. Delta, where down is ‘up.’