Garuda Indonesia ended 2011 on a high note as the national flag carrier managed to book significant growth in both the number of passengers and revenue during the year.
The airline’s president director Emirsyah Satar said in Jakarta on Thursday that total revenue jumped 38 percent to Rp 27.1 trillion ( US$2.95 billion ) in 2011, up from Rp 19.5 trillion in 2010, on the back of a sharp increase in the number of passengers.
“We hope we can increase our total revenue by a further 21 percent this year,” Emirsyah announced during the company’s press briefing.
He said that the number of passengers rose 39 percent to 17.1 million by the end of 2011, up from 12.5 million last year. “Garuda flew 13.9 million passengers on our domestic routes and 3.2 million international passengers last year,” Emirsyah said.
He declined to disclose the airline’s net profits in 2011 however, saying that the financial reports were still being audited. He said unaudited operating profits reached Rp 900 billion in 2011, a turnaround from an operating loss of Rp 82.1 billion in the second quarter of last year.
Emirsyah said that the increase in the number of passengers was in line with the airline’s increase in flight frequency during 2011. Flights on some routes such as Jakarta–Shanghai, Jakarta–Seoul, Denpasar–Seoul and Jakarta–Sydney were increased from five times a week to daily.
In total, Garuda flew 130,043 flights last year, a 27 percent rise from the 102,724 flights in 2010, he said.
The airline will launch a Jakarta–Taipei route and a Denpasar–Tokyo route this year, flying Boeing B737-800NG and Airbus A330-200 aircraft, respectively. During the press conference, Emirsyah said that Garuda had canceled plans to open a Denpasar–New Delhi route.
“We have not seen much market potential in that route. We want a profitable one,” the airline’s vice president corporate communications Pujobroto said.
In addition, this year, the airline will increase flights between several cities, such as Jakarta–Pekanbaru from four to six flights daily, Jakarta–Batam from four to five flights a day and Jakarta–Kuala Lumpur from two to three flights a day, he said.
“In the third quarter, we will use sub-100 seater aircraft connecting our hubs in Makassar and Medan to other cities in the regions,” he said.
Elisa Lumbantoruan, Garuda’s finance director and also Garuda’s strategic business unit Citilink vice president, said that Citilink, Garuda’s budget service, would be spun off in March.
“We are going to obtain the SIUP [flight permit] this month, and after that we are going to process the Air Operator Certificate for 60 days,” Elisa said.
He added that Citilink saw a 45 percent jump in passengers from 1.1 million in 2010 to 1.6 million in 2011.
By having 20 aircraft at the end of this year; four Boeing 737 series and 16 Airbus A320s, Elisa said that Citilink would be able to cater to 4.6 million passengers.
“We will open four new routes this year and add more flights to our existing routes,” he said.
Citilink will open routes between several cities; Jakarta–Pekanbaru, Jakarta–Padang, Jakarta–Yogyakarta and Surabaya–Ampenan ( Lombok ) soon.
In addition, the airline will add flights on all of its routes such as Jakarta–Surabaya from seven flights a day to nine flights a day and Jakarta–Denpasar from two flights to five flights daily. ( nfo )