COVID-19 pandemic has caused airlines to score a decline in performance. In order to prevent deeper losses, PT Garuda Indonesia Persero Tbk continues to strive for efficiency.

One of them is Garuda Indonesia, which has conducted negotiations with a number of aircraft leasing companies or lessors since last year. Not only negotiations in lowering rental rates, this issuer is also trying to return aircraft that do not meet specifications.

According to the President Director of Garuda Indonesia, Irfan Setiaputra, said that aircraft rental is one of the largest components of the cost that must be incurred. Last month, Garuda Indonesia returned 12 Bombardier CRJ 1,000 planes to the leasing party, namely Nordict Aviation Capital (NAC), which matured in 2027.

Irfan admitted that prior to the return of the Bombardier GIAA aircraft, he had succeeded in reducing nearly US$15 million per month for aircraft leases or around US$170 million per year. This means that if conditions improve like in 2019 this company should easily be able to profit from IDR2 trillion to IDR3 trillion.

“Before entering the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2018 Garuda also still suffered losses of up to US$231.13 million. Based on the financial statements for the third quarter of 2020, Garuda Indonesia posted a net loss of US$1.07 billion. This position is inversely proportional to the record in the third quarter of 2019 in which Garuda Indonesia earned a net profit of US$122.42 million,” he said.

He added, currently, Garuda Indonesia is focusing on increasing revenue from all lines, be it passengers, cargo, and others. Apart from continuing to prioritize passenger comfort and safety, Garuda Indonesia also continues to boost revenue from the cargo transportation business. The cargo transportation business is one that we continue to encourage, without forgetting other businesses.

Irfan explained that in the midst of the pandemic the cargo business has very good prospects. For information, Garuda Indonesia has added two more fleets for cargo transportation. Garuda Indonesia managed to record a cargo growth of 12.2% in November 2020, compared to 24,600 tons of cargo transport from October 2020.

“Garuda Indonesia also continues to strengthen its international cargo flight network in supporting the national logistics system, especially related to Indonesia’s leading export commodities. Previously, the cargo transportation business contributed 10% to Garuda Indonesia’s revenue. Today in abnormal conditions, there are times when the cargo accounts for more than 50% of the revenue in a month. In the next normal condition, we are targeting the cargo business to contribute 30% or 40%,” Irfan concluded. [ special]