Indonesian airline Garuda will have to cut its fleet size by half, if it is to have any chance of surviving in the future.

Bloomberg reports the airline’s president Irfan Setiaputra, telling staff, “We have to go through a comprehensive restructuring, a total one.

“We have 142 aircraft… we will need to operate with no more than 70.”

Bloomberg quotes Garuda’s president as saying that his airline has around 70 trillion rupiah (US$4.9 billion) of debt. This increases by more than one trillion rupiah per month as it [Garuda] continues to delay payment to suppliers.

One such supplier is Airbus. Aviation Toulouse’s tweet dated May 21 shows a brand new A330Neo for Garuda being taken for storage minus its engines.

The global pandemic has made the financial situation critical for Garuda with visitor numbers to Indonesia having almost collapsed.

Indonesia is currently on the UK’s Amber Zone. But in any case the UK government says all non-Indonesians are prohibited from entering Indonesia, although there are some exceptions.

Readers will doubtless have seen some of the many reports we have run on Garuda over the past few years.

Since Garuda resumed services to Europe (following its removal from the EU’s black list in 2009) it has made many changes to its schedules.

Amsterdam and London were its sole arrival points in Europe, and in particular Garuda had a changeable relationship with the UK as we had reported in 2019.

Is Garuda preparing to cancel London route again?

There is no certainty in aviation during the pandemic. It is unclear whether or not Garuda will return to Europe when services resume, or whether it will remain as a regional airline.