EXACTLY 75 years ago, on January 26, 1949, Garuda Indonesia was established as a national airline company. Starting from Indonesian Airways, this company has gone through a long journey and developed into a strong and leading airline in Indonesia.

Reporting from the official website of Garuda Indonesia, Indonesian Airways was born on the initiative of the Indonesian Air Force (AURI). The long journey to the establishment of Garuda Indonesian Airways (GIA), which is now known as Garuda Indonesia, starts from that moment.

Flashback on the beginning of the trip
Indonesian civil flights were first realized on January 26, 1949, when the Indonesian Air Force rented an aircraft with the name “Indonesian Airways” to the Burmese government or now called Myanmar.

However, the role of Indonesian Airways only took place temporarily and ended after the agreed of the Round Table Conference (KMB) in the same year. The crew and aircraft were only able to return to Indonesia in 1950, after the KMB incident.

Furthermore, the KMB agreement in 1949 required the Dutch to surrender all the wealth of the Dutch East Indies government to the Republic of the United States (RIS), including the KLM-Iib Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij-Inter-Inter-Insulair Bedrijf). KLM-IIB is a subsidiary company from KLM after acquiring the private airline K.N.I.L.M (Koninklijke Nederlandische Luchtvaart Maatschappij) which has been operating since 1928 in the Dutch East Indies.

Through further negotiations, finally on December 21, 1949, President Soekarno chose the name “Garuda Indonesian Airways” (GIA) as the Indonesian National Airline. The transition process of ownership also involves KLM, which is willing to temporarily place its staff to train Indonesian air staff. Dr. E. Konijneburg was later chosen to be the first President Director of GIA, and the first fleet was the relics of KLM-IIB.

GIA’s first flight and development
On December 28, 1949, the day after the recognition of the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia by the Dutch, two Gia’s Dakota (DC-3) aircraft departed from Kemayoran Airport, Jakarta, towards Yogyakarta to pick up Soekarno.

This incident marked the transfer of the Republic of Indonesia Capital to Jakarta. GIA continued to grow, became a state company in 1950, and operated a fleet with 38 aircraft, including DC-3, Catalina airplane, and Convair 240.

The inaugural flight to Mecca was carried out in 1956, while in 1965, Garuda carried out the inaugural flight to Europe with Amsterdam as the last destination.

Garuda Indonesia Today
In 74 years of travel, Garuda Indonesia has become the pride of the nation. At present, Garuda serves more than 60 destinations worldwide and various exotic locations in Indonesia. Garuda Indonesia Group, with 210 aircraft fleets, continues to innovate and develop.

Throughout 2020, Garuda Indonesia’s achievements received recognition from various parties, including ranking 5-Star on Time Perfomance Rating 2020 from OAG FlightView which is a ranking agency on time PerfoMance Independent which is domiciled in the UK.

In addition, Garuda Indonesia also won “The Best Airline in Indonesia” for 4 consecutive years from 2017-2020; “Major Airlines-Traveler’s Choice Major Airline Asia” for 3 years in a row since 2018-2020 from TripAdvisor 2020 Traveler’s Choice Airlines Awards and was successfully named one of the airlines with the application of the best health protocols in the world version of the “Safe Travel Barometer”. [sources/special photo]