Airline companies Garuda Indonesia and Singapore Airlines announced a significant expansion of their commercial partnership. 

The partnership is aimed at enhancing reciprocal benefits for their frequent flyer program members and exploring revenue sharing arrangements for flights between Indonesia and Singapore. 

The new frequent flyer partnership will allow members of GarudaMiles and KrisFlyer to earn and redeem miles on codeshare flights operated by both airlines. 

This move is expected to support joint capacity growth and enhance customer value. 

Garuda Indonesia is based in Tangerang, Indonesia and has a fleet of around 80 aircraft, according to Plane Spotters, while Singapore-based Singapore Airlines has around 156 aircraft in its fleet.  

These plans, pending regulatory approvals, were formalized in agreements signed Monday in Jakarta. 

Garuda Indonesia CEO Irfan Setiaputra and SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong inked the frequent flyer program agreement, while Garuda Indonesia Director of Service & Commercial Ade Susardi and SIA Chief Commercial Officer Lee Lik Hsin signed the joint venture revenue sharing agreement. These agreements mark a pivotal step towards a proposed commercial JV covering flights between Singapore and Indonesia. 

Joint venture plans 

SIA and Garuda Indonesia announced last year May their plan to enter into a joint venture to increase passenger capacity between Indonesia and Singapore. 

Garuda Indonesia and SIA have 10 overlapping origin-destination routes for air passenger transport services between Singapore and Indonesia, encompassing both direct and connecting flights. 

In March, competition watchdog Competition & Consumer Commission of Singapore said the JV is unlikely to reduce competition as they will continue to face “intense” rivalry from low-cost carriers. 

Garuda Indonesia and SIA have an established codeshare partnership, which has seen significant expansion. 

Currently, Garuda Indonesia codeshares on SIA flights between Singapore and Indonesian cities such as Bali, Jakarta, Medan, and Surabaya, as well as on long-haul routes to Johannesburg, London Heathrow, and Mumbai. 

Conversely, SIA codeshares on Garuda Indonesia flights between Singapore and Bali, Jakarta, and Surabaya. 

In addition to the frequent flyer benefits, both airlines are continuing joint marketing activities to promote tourism between Indonesia and Singapore. These initiatives may include familiarization trips for travel trade and media, aimed at boosting tourist traffic to Indonesia. 

Strategic importance & future prospects 

Garuda Indonesia CEO Irfan Setiaputra highlighted the strategic importance of this partnership in enhancing the airline’s performance and customer value. 

“Having the same mission in optimizing the potential of the aviation business ecosystem in Southeast Asia post-pandemic, this initiative signifies both airlines’ commitment to strengthening our cooperation,” Setiaputra said. 

He also noted the partnership’s alignment with Garuda Indonesia’s 58th anniversary of connecting Indonesia and Singapore, and its potential to enhance socio-cultural and tourism relations. 

“This partnership is a special moment for us,” Setiaputra said. “In the future, we hope it will continue to enhance social, cultural, and tourism relations between Indonesia and Singapore while offering seamless access for customers to enjoy various destinations served by both airlines.” 

Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong emphasized the partnership’s potential to meet increasing air travel demand and support tourism growth. 

“Our win-win partnership with Garuda Indonesia will improve connectivity between Indonesia and Singapore for our customers. This will help meet the increasing demand for air travel between the two countries and beyond, as well as facilitate the growth of tourism and economic activities,” Phong said. 

Customer benefits & industry impact 

The enhanced frequent flyer program is designed to provide added value for members of both airlines’ loyalty schemes. Customers will benefit from the ease of earning and redeeming miles for tickets and other exclusive benefits. 

This collaboration is expected to significantly strengthen Garuda Indonesia’s support for national tourism by providing more access points in Indonesia for foreign tourists traveling via Singapore. 

As the aviation industry continues to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, this partnership between Garuda Indonesia and SIA underscores a strategic effort to optimize aviation potential in the Southeast Asian region, supporting the resurgence of tourism and economic activities.