By Putu Deny Wijaya
Garuda, Citilink To Double Number of Airplanes by End of Year
Garuda Indonesia is rumored to be increasing the number of new aircraft in line with public interest for travel in and around Indonesia. Garuda Indonesia Director Irfan Setiaputra stated that the airline is targeting to increase the number of aircraft in its fleet from 61 to 120 by the end of the year.
He said that at this time the public is more interested in travel.
“We have a target of 120 aircraft by the end of the year in order to meet the needs of people who are currently having difficulty getting tickets,” he said at the IDX Channel Market Review event in Jakarta on Aug. 29. He also continued that occupancy on each flight had increased by 80%. Flights at convenient times to popular destinations are departing with load factors close to 98% with only very few seats left.
Furthermore, Irfan stated that the additional aircraft will be allocated for domestic flights and destinations to Mecca. He hopes that domestic flights to certain areas which are usually only once a day can increase in time, and for international flights to Mecca not only from Jakarta. “We hope that those who do Umrah do not need to stop by again in Jakarta so they are not too tired and don’t spend a long time,” he concluded.
One of the things that Garuda Indonesia will do is buy 59 new aircraft to complement its current fleet. Currently, Garuda Indonesia and Citilink have 61 aircraft of various types.
Funds amounting to 7.5 trillion rupiah ($500 million) in the form of State Capital Participation (PMN) will be disbursed in the near future. This was conveyed by the country’s Minister of State Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir when delivering a statement in late August. By the end of the year, Thohir estimates that the number of Garuda Indonesia and Citilink’s fleet will be doubled compared to the current fleet.
“Garuda after the PKPU restructuring will begin to increase the number of its aircraft again, where currently Garuda and Citilink number only 61, at the end of the year it will reach 120,” he said.
With this addition, Thohir hopes that the price of national airline tickets can be reduced to become cheaper according to President Jokowi’s instructions. “We hope this balance can improve national ticket prices,” he continued. He also is seeking to ensure that the rental price of the new Garuda Indonesia fleet will be in accordance with the average global market rental price.
Thohir said that the plan could be implemented thanks to the success of Garuda Indonesia’s restructuring so that the corporation could move more healthily.
He said the government needed to maintain momentum of economic growth, which currently has reached 5.44%. One of them is by keeping the price of plane tickets more affordable so as to encourage the economy.