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Legally named as PT Garuda Indonesia, it is the national airline of Indonesia. The name Garuda derived from the mythical bird Garuda, same as the coat of arms of Indonesian Republic. It’s a myth in Indian vedic tradition where Garuda is the carrier for Vishnu, the Hindu god. The airline is based in Jakarta at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, with hubs at Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, Juanda International Airport, Surabaya, Polonia International Airport, Medan, Sepinggan International Airport, Balikpapan, and Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore.
Garuda Indonesia had its beginnings in the Indonesian war of independence against the Dutch in the late 1940s, when Garuda flew special transports with Douglas DC-3 aircraft. January 26, 1949, is generally recognized as the airline’s founding date, at which time the airline was known as “Garuda Indonesian Airways.” The first plane was a DC-3 known as Seulawah (Acehnese: “Gold Mountain”) and was purchased for a sum of 120,000 Malayan dollars, which was provided by the Acehnese people (notably local merchants). During the revolution, the airline supported Indonesian interests, such as carrying Indonesian leaders for diplomatic missions.