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Indonesian flag carrier Garuda open new routes

Indonesia's flag carrier Garuda will open 16 new routes this year, comprising 13 domestic and three international routes, and add more aircraft to its fleet, the airline company announced Saturday.


The new routes will begin gradual operation from Jan. 16, and will later be supported by 14 new Boeing 737-NG aircraft to be delivered in mid-2009.


The new international routes will link Denpasar with Adelaide, Denpasar with Hong Kong and Surabaya with Hong Kong.


"We need to establish a strong network, especially in the Indonesian region, so we can create new markets for our new planes more easily," the Jakarta Post daily on Saturday quoted Garuda spokesman Pujobroto as saying.


Garuda currently operates 54 aircraft, including six new 737-NGs delivered last year.


By 2013, Garuda plans to have 128 planes in its fleet, including 50 new 737-NGs and 10 new 737-300ERs that are currently under construction.


Garuda launched its Yogyakarta-Singapore route on Dec. 16, and its Jakarta-Shanghai-Denpasar-Jakarta route on Dec. 20, to cash inon market opportunities over the holiday season.


Mainly serving domestic routes, Garuda also provides flights to international destinations including Japan, Australia and the Middle East.


(Xinhua News Agency January 4, 2009)