Garuda, Singapore Airlines explore joint venture on Bali, Jakarta flights

Garuda Indonesia, including Citilink, held nearly a third of the country’s domestic air travel, according to the Transportation Ministry.

Yohana Belinda

Yohana Belinda

The Jakarta Post


A Garuda Indonesia airplane is parked at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, on May 14, 2022.(AFP/Chaideer Mahyuddin)

May 31, 2023

JAKARTA – National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and Singapore Airlines are exploring a joint venture opportunity to serve flights between the city-state and three major routes in Indonesia, namely Jakarta, Denpasar in Bali and Surabaya in East Java.

Garuda in a statement said both had worked together on similar commitments back in November 2021, when Garuda served Singapore Airlines passengers flying to Jakarta, Denpasar and Surabaya, while the latter served Garuda’s passengers flying to London.

Garuda said both airlines agreed to expand the aviation network between Singapore and Indonesia by including more flight alternatives and competitive pricing for the two airlines’ customers.

“This joint venture will set a base for future cooperation that provides more value than just a flying experience for both airlines’ customers from around the world,” Irfan Setiaputra, president director of Garuda Indonesia said in a statement on Monday.

Garuda Indonesia, including Citilink, held nearly a third of the country’s domestic air travel, according to the Transportation Ministry.

Garuda is currently embarking on its renewed business plan after securing creditors’ approval for a restructuring proposal and postponing some of its liabilities from June last year in order to save the debt-laden airline from bankruptcy.

Some liabilities remain but the airline has managed to extend its maturity period along with acquiring low-interest rates, while continuing to serve customers with its new business plan that puts domestic routes as its core focus alongside freight and cargo services across the archipelago.

State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir told reporters on May 25 that the government wanted Garuda to join forces with prominent foreign airlines in providing flights for Indonesians to go overseas.

Aside from Singapore Airlines, the minister said the cooperation also included Qatar Airways and flag carriers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Emirates.

“Garuda will focus on serving domestic flights,” Erick said.

After the restructuring process, Erick said the airline will need to find “strategic partners” that he hoped could be done with help from the country’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF) INA.

Irfan went on to say that the cooperation between the two airlines would help promote bilateral tourism between Indonesia and Singapore as well as create opportunities for foreign tourists to visit destinations in both countries.

Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines said in a statement on Monday the cooperation between the two airlines would benefit tourism in both countries.

“By strengthening the long-term collaboration between Garuda Indonesia and Singapore Airlines, this joint venture will be beneficial for both airlines,” Phong said.

He added that the joint venture is part of the company’s commitment to supporting aviation-market growth in both countries, while promoting the two as one of many prominent tourist destinations in the ASEAN region.

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