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Garuda Indonesia will join SkyTeam in March 2014.
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.’
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@Rocky – yes, I earned miles flying GA SIN-DPS-SIN in 2004!
I’ve heard Garuda is much improved since 2009. “They received the World’s Most Improved Airline at the SkyTrax World Airline Awards and In July 2012, Garuda Indonesia was recognized as the World’s Best Regional Airline and also won the Best Regional Airline in Asia by the global airline review and ranking consultancy, Skytrax, for delivering the best service to its customers.” YMMV, but it seems they’re at least ambitious about improving service, quality, and safety. I wouldn’t hesitate to choose them over Lion Air or Air Asia.
[…] Indonesia will join Skyteam in March 2014. Will they be the first airline that takes miles out of your Delta Skymiles account when you fly? […]
Remember WAY back in the day with NWA had a partnership with Garuda!
@NYBanker – LOL!
Taking their approach with KE to a new level, I understand DL will actual deduct miles from your account for each Garuda flight. 😉
my guess is Group 3