Last Thursday saw Indonesia’s flagship carrier, Garuda Indonesia, launch its first flight to London’s Heathrow Airport.

Garuda’s five-times weekly service to Heathrow replaces the airline’s previous route to Gatwick Airport via Amsterdam. The move is in order to increase the load factor on its popular Indonesia-UK route, the airline said. Garuda secured a slot at Heathrow in December last year.

“The main reason we moved to Heathrow is: SkyTeam partner airlines are here, and our business passengers prefer flying from Heathrow too,” says Jubi Prasetyo, Garuda’s general manager for the UK and Ireland.

The new service will operate five-times weekly – on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays – using a three-class Boeing 777-300ER. The London-Jakarta flight will operate direct, while the Jakarta-London leg will include a stop in Singapore due to runway weight restrictions at Soekarno-Hatta Airport,

“We were thrilled to see our first flight from our new UK home at London Heathrow take to the skies. Being the first and only carrier to fly non-stop to Jakarta, we are now the most efficient way to reach Indonesia from the UK,” said Jubi Prasetyo.

Each aircraft has a capacity of 314 passengers, with eight first class seats, 38 business class seats and 268 economy seats.