Garuda Remains Silent Following Minister Rizal's Criticism

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  • Rizal Ramli. TEMPO/Eko Siswono Toyudho

    Rizal Ramli. TEMPO/Eko Siswono Toyudho

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - PT Garuda Indonesia spokesperson Ikhsan Rosan declined to comment on a statement made by newly-inaugurated Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli, urging the state-owned airline to scrap its business expansion plan by purchasing aircraft from Airbus.

    Rosan told Tempo on Friday, August 14, 2015, that the purchase of new aircrafts should be confirmed to State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Sumarno.

    Earlier on Thursday, August 13, 2015, Rizal asked President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to review Garuda Indonesia's plan to purchase Airbus A350 aircrafts. According to Rizal, the purchase decision was inappropriate and could trigger losses, since the flight routes to be served by the aircrafts are not profitable.

    Minister Rini argued that Rizal's request was baseless.

    "On what base the purchase should be canceled? State-Owned Enterprises are under Coordinating Economic Minister's control," Rini said on Thursday, August 13, 2015.

    Rini also asserted that Garuda Indonesia, as a public company, had planned to expand its business.

    "Garuda Indonesia, as a public company, is responsible to the people," Rini said.

    In June 2015, Garuda Indonesian signed a letter of intent for the purchase of 30 Airbus A350 XWB aircrafts as a part of its strategy to expand its market and services. With the new fleet, Garuda planned to operate a new flight serving the Denpasar-Amsterdam route.

    ADITYA BUDIMAN