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Indonesian airline brings live music to the skies

Updated January 11, 2019

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JAKARTA: A passenger using his mobile phone to record a performance by musicians aboard a flight from Jakarta to Bali.—AFP
JAKARTA: A passenger using his mobile phone to record a performance by musicians aboard a flight from Jakarta to Bali.—AFP

INDONESIAN national flag carrier Garuda is bringing music to the skies with a series of live acoustic concerts on domestic flights, the airline said.

Passengers will be serenaded at 35,000 feet in a scheme aimed at wooing millennials “who want a different flight experience”, said airline spokesman M. Ikhsan Rosan.

The carrier held its first in-flight concert on Wednesday, when two musicians performed for a captive audience aboard a flight between the capital, Jakarta, and the holiday island of Bali.

Garuda said sets would last 10 to 15 minutes on select flights, and there would be a focus on promoting upcoming talent.

While it may prove an unforgettable flying experience for some, it may not be everyone’s idea of a good time.

In 2017, US airline Southwest introduced live shows on some flights to a mixed reaction from passengers.

Some travellers said they preferred minimum human interaction while flying and said music would distract them from sleeping or reading.

Indonesia is one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets, but it has come under fresh scrutiny since a fatal Lion Air crash in October last year that killed all 189 people on board.

Garuda said it had embarked on extensive consultation to ensure the concerts posed no threat to safety or security.

“If there is the potential of turbulence, the singer will be directed back to sit in his chair,” Rosan said.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2019