Garuda eyes faster fleet growth up to 2016

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Garuda Indonesia's board has approved the airline's plan to grow its fleet to as many as 194 aircraft by 2016.

This includes aircraft for both the parent carrier and Citilink, its low-cost subsidiary that is being developed as a competitor to other Indonesian carriers such as Lion Air in its segment.

Indonesia's flag carrier earlier said it planned to have a fleet of 154 aircraft by 2015.

Currently, Garuda operates 84 aircraft, while Citilink has 12 in its fleet.

Garuda said the additional purchases will include Boeing 737-800s, Airbus A330-200s and other widebodies from the European airframer, regional jets − most likely the Bombardier CRJ1000s − and Airbus A320 narrowbodies for Citilink. It could not confirm the exact number of additional aircraft it will acquire.

The airline has existing orders for all of these types, as well as Boeing 777-300ERs. It also plans to get freighters to grow its cargo business.

"Garuda's fleet development was initiated to anticipate significant growth of passengers in both the domestic and international markets. It is also part of the company's ongoing efficiency programme," the airline said in a statement

"The new arrivals will feature modern, fuel-efficient and eco-friendly as well as low-maintenance planes," it added.