Garuda Indonesia is to add five more Boeing 737-800s as traffic recovery continues apace, though the airline has slashed its expected fleet size by the end of the year.

In a statement issued after its shareholders meeting, the Jakarta-based airline says it expects to operate a fleet of 63 aircraft by end-2023, a downward revision against the more than 70 aircraft it forecast at the start of the year.

Garuda Indonesia 737-800

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Ikko Haidar Farozy

A Garuda 737-800 in October 2020

While no reason was given for the revision of fleet size, the airline highlights its “positive outlook” for the rest of the year, noting that “business performance [has been] growing consistently”.

Garuda, which completed its restructuring in 2022, estimates a 36% increase year on year in passenger numbers for the quarter ending 30 September. It also projects that nine-month traffic to exceed levels seen in the 2022 full-year. 
The five additional 737s, which will “support an increase in operations”, will be delivered through the rest of this year, with the airline taking two in the third quarter, and the remaining three in the last quarter.

Says airline chief Irfan Setiaputra: “With the foundation of the company’s increasingly healthy performance, [Garuda’s] continuous steps in maximising growth will certainly continue…in 2023 in a measurable and proportionate manner, by maximising profitability…[in addition to] efforts to diversify and improve…flight services.”

The airline narrowed its operating losses for the quarter ended 31 March, on the back of significant increase in revenue as travel demand picked up. For the first-quarter period, Garuda recorded a pre-tax loss of $131 million, narrowing the $257 million loss in the year-ago period.