Could Kazakhstan be Garuda Indonesia's next international destination? Earlier this week, the Indonesian flag carrier's CEO, Irfan Setiaputra, met with Kazakhstan's Ambassador to Indonesia, Daniyar Sarekenov, to discuss launching flights between

Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) and Almaty International Airport (ALA).

New services

The meeting, confirmed by Kazakhstan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, saw both representatives discussing the possibility of utilizing one of its international airports as a transit hub for Garuda Indonesia. In a statement, the Ministry praised the prospect of strengthened transit between the two countries through the country's open sky policy, benefitting both the carrier and tour operators in Indonesia and Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan is set to use Air Astana's upcoming Almaty-Seoul-Denpasar stopover service to gauge popularity before examining the possibility of opening additional transit hubs or direct services between both countries.

"It is noted that this initiative will create favorable conditions for Kazakh and Indonesian travelers," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs added.

Garuda Indonesia aircraft at Tangerang Airport
Photo: KeleX Pictures / Shutterstock

Get all the latest aviation news right here on Simple Flying.

Further details on the new route are expected to be announced by Air Astana soon.

Kazakh aviation growth

With Russian airspace limited for many airlines, Kazakhstan's civil aviation authority (AAK) announced earlier this year that it would extend its open sky policy to carriers traveling between Asia and Europe, bolstering its airports as stopover hubs. The policy removes restrictions on flight limits, giving airlines fifth freedom rights on international routes not run by any Kazakh-based operators.

The scheme has largely been a successful endeavor for the country and its airlines, with Air Astana recording significant growth despite largely losing the Russian aviation market. Speaking to Reuters in March, chief executive officer Peter Foster noted the carrier's plans to exploit the growing niche in the market for a stopover service between China and Europe.

Photo: Air Astana

"Prior to the start of the war in Ukraine, a lot of traffic in general, going in the western direction, whether that was to Europe or to the U.S., was traveling from this region via the Russian Federation," Foster explained to Reuters.

"Obviously, that is no longer the case. And so what has happened is there has been a shift of gravity and we are extremely well placed to take advantage of that shift."

Summer season

Owed partly to the rapid growth of its low-cost subsidiary, FlyArystan, the carrier posted a record-breaking $78.4 million after-tax profit, with revenues soaring to $1.03 billion for the financial year.

While holidaymakers await further details of the airline's upcoming Bali (DPS) service, the carrier is already gearing up to relaunch services into Greece, Turkey, Montenegro, and Georgia before the summer travel season. Flights between Almaty and Heraklion (HER) will begin on June 1, while Almaty to Bodrum (BJV) will launch on June 2 and Almaty to Podgorica (TGD) on June 3. Air Astana's Batumi (BUS) service will begin on June 6, with five weekly flights from the carrier's hub at Almaty.

What are your thoughts on Garuda Indonesia launching flights between Indonesia and Kazakhstan? What airports would you like to see connected? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: Reuters, Travel News Asia

  • Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737 MAX 8
    Photo: Kwok Ho Eddie Wong via Flickr
    Garuda Indonesia
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier
    Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International
    Year Founded:
    Irfan Setiaputra