Plane sailing

By: Southeast Asia Globe - Posted on: May 13, 2012 | Business

Garuda, Indonesia’s flag carrier, has inked a $2.5 billion deal with the European plane manufacturer Airbus for the delivery of 11 A330 passenger jets. It is the second contract in a year between the two businesses after Garuda ordered 25 A320 Airbus planes for a price of $2.18 billion last June. Garuda hopes to almost double its fleet size over the next three years. In February, competitor Lion Air signed a $22.4 billion deal for 230 Boeing aircraft, the single largest contract in commercial aviation history. Both companies have ambitious plans to meet the demand of a growing middle class, as well as businessmen who travel by air across the archipelago. The number of passengers has jumped close to 50% in the last two years to around 65 million in 2011, according to Indonesia’s National Statistics Board.