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Auckland Airport signs MOU with Garuda Indonesia


Auckland Airport signs MOU with Garuda Indonesia

Commitment to opening vital new air-links between Auckland and Indonesia

Will help drive growth in trade and tourism with Indonesia, a key South-East Asian market

Auckland Airport today announced that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed with Garuda Indonesia to commit to re-opening vital air-links between Indonesia and New Zealand.

The MOU was signed by Auckland Airport’s Chair, Joan Withers, and by Garuda Indonesia’s President and CEO, Emirsyah Satar, at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister John Key and the New Zealand and Indonesian Trade Ministers this morning in Jakarta.

The MOU confirms that Auckland will be Garuda’s first destination in New Zealand as soon as market conditions and aircraft availability allow.

Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical commercial, Glenn Wedlock, said, “This MOU follows years of market development activity by Auckland Airport and marks a significant step towards stronger trade and tourism links between Indonesia and New Zealand. Garuda Indonesia is a major global airline player with very strong network connections, and we are extremely pleased that they recognise Auckland and the region as an important part of their future plans.

“On our Pacific door-step, Indonesia is rapidly transforming into a global economic powerhouse. With a population of around 240 million, Indonesia comprises around 45% of the ASEAN economy. There are already over 42 million Facebook users in Indonesia, and by 2015 the number of millionaires is expected to triple according to a Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA) wealth report. That’s a significant market opportunity for Auckland and New Zealand by any measure.”

Garuda Indonesia, recently recognised in a January and February 2012 Roy Morgan survey as the best international airline in the world, has experienced a dramatic turnaround in the last half-decade. It has completed a significant fleet upgrade and has a large number of new planes on order, and has successfully implemented a number of ambitious growth plans over the last few years.

“The MOU signed today will include Auckland and New Zealand in those ambitious growth plans as soon as possible,” said Mr Wedlock. “Thanks to this MOU, and to other initiatives such as the recent announcement by Air New Zealand of seasonal flights from Auckland to Bali, we expect tourism between New Zealand and Indonesia to continue to benefit as awareness and market interest grows. It’s a massive opportunity for New Zealand tourism,” said Mr Wedlock.

Garuda Indonesia and Auckland Airport will monitor the market so that, when aircraft capacity becomes available, they can quickly assess the feasibility and timing of an air-service commencement to Auckland.

Garuda Indonesia’s President & CEO, Emirsyah Satar, welcomes the initiative of both parties to work together through the MOU signed today. "We know New Zealand and Auckland very well as it has a potential traffic/market especially to Bali and Jakarta and cities beyond Indonesia. In line with the growing market between two countries, Garuda is seeking the opportunity to resume flights to Auckland as part of plan to increase its network, especially from New Zealand to cities in Asia and to Europe via Jakarta and Bali," added Mr Satar.

New Zealand’s Ambassador to Indonesia, David Taylor, welcomed the MOU as, “a step towards closer airline connectivity with Indonesia.” He said, “A direct service between Indonesia and New Zealand would be a game-changer for the relationship, offering real benefits to both countries through greater business, tourism and education travel.”

Tourism New Zealand’s chief executive, Kevin Bowler, said, “A new carrier into New Zealand offers the tourism industry an opportunity to attract greater number of Indonesians in coming years.”

“Garuda’s plans to begin a direct service to Auckland will be welcomed by everyone in the New Zealand travel industry, and comes at a time when South East Asia has become a new focus for TNZ’s marketing work,” said Mr Bowler.

Mr Wedlock said, “Auckland Airport has been working hard in the Indonesian market for over two years now developing market and air-service opportunities alongside the travel trade and the New Zealand Government. We have already run a number of successful joint venture market promotions and we are targeting premium high-end visitors through our Luxury New Zealand initiative to help drive demand and value.

“Our ultimate goal is to use commercially driven strategies to build stronger connections with the fastest growing markets in the world, particularly in Asia and the America’s, in terms of both volume and wealth, and thereby create greater tourism value for New Zealand. It’s a very competitive endeavour though; the growth won’t just show up on our door-step, we have to chase it to gain and secure a foothold and we have to differentiate ourselves from the global competition.”

The MOU also offers valuable support for the Free Trade Agreement that was signed between Indonesia and New Zealand late in 2011, and offers opportunities for growth in the trade of premium New Zealand products such as meat and seafood.

Auckland Airport, along with Garuda Indonesia, supported a series of Taste New Zealand events held in Jakarta and Bali in 2011. The events exposed premium New Zealand products (meat, wine and cheese) to a large number of influential culinary professionals and exporters in Indonesia.

Direct air-links are critical for the facilitation and growth of trade. This is particularly the case as tourism is a strong precursor for trade activity and nearly all high-value air-freight is carried in the belly-hold of passenger aircraft.

About Garuda Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia is the flag carrier of Indonesia. It is named after the mystical giant bird Garuda of Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The airline currently flies to a number of destinations in Southeast Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Australia. It also previously flew to several destinations in North America.

Garuda Indonesia is listed as a 4-star airline by Skytrax. In May 2010, the airline was named as the World's Most Improved Airline by Skytrax during the 2010 World Airline Awards in Hamburg. Garuda Indonesia announced that it will join the SkyTeam airline alliance by 2012, and aims to achieve a 5-star Skytrax rating by 2013.

In January 2012, Garuda Indonesia was recognized as the Best International Airline in a Roy Morgan survey of airlines. In March 2012 Garuda Indonesia reported a 56% increase in net profit from the year before. Garuda Indonesia has also overhauled its inflight service in a bid to become one of the best airlines in the world.

Garuda Indonesia last serviced New Zealand and Auckland via Brisbane and withdrew from the market in 2006.

About Indonesia

Population is 240 million, an archipelago country, with around 17,500 islands. Java, Bali and Sumatra are the main islands. There are about 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia and as a result there is a huge variety of cultures and tourism attractions including islands, beaches, rainforests, and orang-utan conservation reserves.

Jakarta is the main business hub to Indonesia and Bali is the main leisure hub. Indonesian major commodities are mining, energy and tourism.

ENDS

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