In the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, when other airlines are frantically slashing routes, mothballing new orders and looking for spare coins under the seat cushions, Garuda is doing the exact opposite. It's actually adding routes, like the new Singapore-Yogyakarta service, and planning to double its entire fleet by 2013.
What gives? It seems it's not really a profit grab - after all, nobody's making profits these days - but an effort to gain significant market share while other carriers are cutting back. With a planned 128 aircraft, including a fleet of new Boeings being delivered in 2009, Garuda will have a much bigger Asia-Pacific footprint (and more planes to dispatch to Europe, once the EU ban is eventually lifted). They'll also have the wherewithal to muscle in on new routes like Denpasar-Adelaide and Surabaya-Hong Kong.
Savvy, or suicidal? As investing guru Warren Buffett is fond of saying, "Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful." So though it seems clinically insane, maybe Garuda's going against the grain might actually be a stroke of genius.
Today's Top Stories
Tectonic plates aren't happy right now
Interest rates shaved by a surprise half-point
Government plans to issue sukuk in February
Relatives invited to Washington, DC bash Jan. 20