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"Must Have New Airports!"

Akhyari Hananto
Akhyari Hananto
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By Leithen Francis

Garuda Indonesia has called on the Indonesian government to fulfill its promise to develop the country’s airport infrastructure.

“If the government doesn’t build new airports, it’s going to be a challenge for us,” Garuda President Director Emirsyah Satar told delegates May 8 at the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Asia conference in Singapore.

According to Satar, the development of new airports is one of the primary factors in the government’s plan to revive the county’s economy; however, he notes that “we still have to see if the execution is there.”

The country’s main airport, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, was built to handle 22 million passengers a year, but in 2011 51 million passengers passed through the airport, according to comments made by Indonesia’s director general of civil aviation, Herry Bhakti Gumay.

To accommodate this demand, the government has unveiled a plan to build Karawang International Airport, east of the capital city, with construction due to start in 2015 and to be completed in 2019. The new airport initially will support 20 million passengers a year but this will eventually grow to 70 million passengers, says Gumay. The existing airport also is due to be expanded, but it is unclear when construction work will get under way.

Meanwhile, Garuda is seeking financing for the Boeing 737-800s, 777-300ERs and Airbus A330s it has on order. “We’ve already done the financing for aircraft to be delivered through to the end of 2013, but are now looking for financing” for aircraft to be delivered in 2014 and 2015, says Satar, adding that requests for proposals for some of the A330s and 777s are coming. Garuda favors sale and leaseback agreements, says Satar.

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