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Garuda: The Road to Recovery

Minister Denies that Airline is For Sale But Stesses Urgent Need for Strategic Alliance with Another Major Carrier.


Bali News: Garuda: The Road to Recovery
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(2/19/2006)

Indonesia's Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Sugiharto, has affirmed that the Government has no desire to sell its share in National Carrier Garuda Indonesia but, instead, to force the Airline to urgently seek an international business partner.

"Garuda will not be sold, but be pushed to transform itself via a synergistic relationship with a foreign airline," explained Sugiharto. "This must be done soon due to the ongoing international global competition," he added, in comments quoted by the Indonesian-language Kompas.

Four Main Targets

According to Sugiharto, there are four short-term targets that the Government has for Garuda, namely:

• Transforming the business of Garuda.

• Transforming the employee culture of Garuda.

• Repairing the Company’s synergy.

• And, seeking a strategic business partner for the Airline.

In his comments, Sugiharto confirmed that Garuda has commenced preliminary discussions with the German carrier Lufthansa as a possible candidate with which to form a business alliance. The minister indicated that Garuda’s rescheduled debt will be addressed through financial obligations which can be issued on the capital market once a viable strategic partner is in place.

A Growing Morale Problem Among Pilots

Meanwhile, Garuda's continuing financial uncertainty is taking a toll on morale in the cockpit.

According to the Chairman of the Garuda Pilot's Association (APG), Stephanus Gerardus, 144 pilots have resigned at over the past two years with another 14 resignations now being processed. Gerardus claims that his fellow pilots at Garuda have lost their pride and motivation, with the Indonesian pilots now accepting overseas flying appointments.



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