Garuda May Order 250 Planes as Southeast Asia Travel Booms

PT Garuda Indonesia, the national airline, may purchase 250 aircraft in the decade ending 2025 to take advantage of a surge in travel demand in Southeast Asia.

The carrier is completing its plan and will decide in the first quarter of next year, Chief Executive Officer Emirsyah Satar said in an interview in Hong Kong today. The new planes will help expand its fleet and retire older aircraft.

From Indonesia to Vietnam, carriers in Southeast Asia are buying new aircraft as about 600 million people -- or the combined population of the U.S., Germany and Brazil -- fly more. Boeing Co. and Airbus SAS, the world’s two biggest planemakers, both count on Asian airlines to buy more aircraft in the next two decades as economic growth in the region enables more people to take flights.

Garuda aims to have about 350 aircraft by 2025, up from a fleet of 194 planes by 2015, Satar said. The airline, which is adding 120 pilots every year to meet the fleet expansion, hasn’t decided whether to buy Airbus or Boeing aircraft, he said.

PT Lion Mentari Airlines, the nation’s biggest carrier, already has 700 planes on order and expects to have ordered 1,000 aircraft within two to three years, its Chief Executive Officer Rusdi Kirana said in March. The Jakarta-based carrier agreed to buy 230 Lion in Talks to Buy 50 Bombardier Planes on Asian Travel Growth Boeing 737 planes last year and ordered 234 planes from Airbus in March.