Indonesian airlines are in a period of accelerated growth, despite the looming debt crisis that threatens aviation in Europe and the United States. The bullish attitude of Indonesian carriers is linked to the steady growth in Indonesian air travelers, making Indonesian air operators the darlings of Boeing and Airbus who are receiving order cancellations from European and U.S. carriers. The national flag-carrier Garuda Indonesia through the end of 2011 will add three Boeing 737-800NGs and one Airbus 330-200, and three Airbus 320s for use by their subsidiary Citilink.
According to Emirsyah Satar, the CEO of Garuda Indonesia and the chairman of the National Air Carrier Association (INACA), said, “until the third quarter of 2011, airline passenger growth worldwide was only 3.7% while the growth in domestic air passengers in Indonesia stands at 15%.”
Addressing his own airline, Emirsyah said that Garuda Indonesia held a 39% market share of domestic passengers, an increase of 5% as compared to the same period in 2010. Meanwhile, Garuda’s share of the Indonesian international passenger market is 32%.
Officials from the Ministry of Transportation see great potential for growth in the Indonesian passenger market with current domestic passenger totals representing a figure equivalent to only 10% of the entire national population. At the same time, according to the official, Indonesia’s middle class continues to grow.