Garuda Indonesia Pits 747-8 Against A380 for Hajj Trips

PT Garuda Indonesia (GIAA) is considering the purchase of Airbus SAS A380s or Boeing Co. (BA) 747-8 jumbo jets in partnership with its government to help ferry religious pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

A purchase of three to five of the planes may come “very soon,” contingent on an agreement with Indonesian officials, Chief Executive Officer Emirsyah Satar said today at the Paris Air Show.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim state and needs the four-engine jets to fly travelers to Saudi Arabia for the annual hajj, Satar said. The airliners could be in service as early as 2015, he said, as Boeing and Airbus seek to fill near-term production slot vacancies for their largest planes.

Garuda will conduct a long-term fleet review this year to determine its aircraft needs through 2025, Satar said. The assessment will include examining long-range models such as Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and 777X and the Airbus A350, along with short-haul jets.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Wall in Paris at rwall6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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