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A Garuda - Merpati Alliance?

Garuda's New Boss Suggests Greater Cooperation Ahead.

(7/15/2002) Garuda Indonesia's (GA) new Managing Director, Indra Setiawan has publicly suggested that his airline will be forming an alliance with its former subsidiary, Merpati Nusantara Airline (MZ).

In a step that may industry observers see as an obvious and long-overdue move by the two financially ailing carriers, Setiawan suggested that the first phase of the new alliance would be in place within one month's time and facilitate interline reservations and ticketing between the two airlines. The current practice, for instance, where a passengers arriving internationally to Bali on GA needs a completely separate ticket and reservation for an ongoing flight to Lombok would, under the new alliance, be handled via a single ticket issued by Garuda.

Admitting that implementing the new policy will not be problem free, GA's CEO pointed to the need to achieve a common view to make the proposed cooperation a success. Setiawan emphasized that the intense competition of the international airline market mandated the need for such cooperation, using the example of Singapore Airlines cooperation with a number of mainland China carriers.

There are 15 different domestic Indonesian carriers currently operating in the Country, underlining the need for interline ticketing agreements and other forms of cooperative alliance. Other potential areas of cooperation mentioned by Setiawan worthy of future exploration by all Indonesian carriers include sharing of maintenance facilities and spare part pooling system.