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Direct flights from UK to Jakarta announced

Garuda, the national airline for Indonesia, is to offer direct flights from the UK starting in autumn 2013, it was announced this weekend.

Currently travellers from the UK to Indonesia’s capital have to change at Singapore or Hong Kong, but the new route will open up a whole new door to this region for UK tourists. The new route will fly from Gatwick Airport from this autumn, and will operate six times a week, offering greater accessibility to this bustling city and gateway to the many delights Indonesia has to offer.

The new route is set to boost tourism and business between the two countries, with the UK already providing Indonesia with one of its largest markets – attracting 160,000 people from the UK every year.

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the announcement. He said, "we want to link Britain up with the world's fastest growing economies, and good air links are vital to achieving that. This new route from London to Jakarta is good for British business and will help them to compete in the global race."

The new route is set to open up Indonesia not just to the UK, but also to the rest of Europe. The President and CEO of Garuda, Emirsyah Satar, said, “we chose Gatwick, London as the UK airport because of its convenience and good network and accessibility options into Europe and beyond."

Garuda will be flying brand new Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft on the route, carrying up to 300 passengers per flight, equipped with wi-fi and an on-board chef for first class passengers.

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