Indonesian flag carrier Garuda is seeking more codeshare partners after trimming dozens of flights and dropping several destinations from its global network amid speculation of mounting financial problems.

The carrier has cut four European cities - Berlin, Munich, Vienna and Madrid - from its winter schedule and cut frequencies to 32 other cities in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East.

The drastic restructuring is an apparent result of Garuda's inability to compete against its bigger regional rivals for long-haul traffic. The airline's president Soepandi says Garuda has little choice because of the 'present circumstances of the airline industry, in which customers and competitors have become increasingly unpredictable.'

Soepandi says Garuda will compensate by conducting joint operations with foreign carriers, including KLM, with which it already has an extensive commercial agreement. It is understood Garuda is looking for a range of codeshares.

Garuda was scheduled for privatisation this year, but the government has shelved the plans in an effort to get the airline in better shape for sale. Nevertheless, Soepandi continues to deny there are financial problems - the carrier now appears to have settled on a US$87 million profit for 1994 - despite the shrinking of its network and the drastic cuts in its order book.

In June, Garuda decided to take only seven of 16 B737-400s and two of nine B747-400s on order. In August, a US$660 million financing mandate for six Airbus A330s was also suspended by the government.

Source: Airline Business