Indonesian flag carrier Garuda has signed a memorandum of understanding with Auckland Airport to re-open air links between Indonesia and New Zealand.
Under the MoU, Garuda confirmed that Auckland will be its first destination in New Zealand “as soon as market conditions and aircraft availability allow.” Garuda flew to New Zealand via Brisbane until 2006, when it withdrew from the market.
The MOU was signed at a ceremony attended by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Indonesia’s trade minister in Jakarta this morning.
Auckland Airport general manager Glenn Wedlock said the agreement marked a significant step in strengthening trade and tourism ties between the two countries.
“On our Pacific door-step, Indonesia is rapidly transforming into a global economic powerhouse,” he said. “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.”