This undated file photo shows a Bombardier CRJ 1000 operated by flagship carrier Garuda Indonesia at Dominiq Eduard Osok Airport in Sorong, West Papua. (B1 Photo/Danung Arifin)

Garuda to Return 12 Bombardier Jets to Nordic Aviation Capital


FEBRUARY 10, 2021

Jakarta. Garuda Indonesia, the country's flag-carrier, will return 12 Bombardier CRJ 1000 aircraft to Nordic Aviation Capital or NAC, ending the operating lease contract with Denmark's aviation company, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir said on Wednesday.

Under the contract, Garuda was supposed to operate the aircraft until 2027. However, months-long investigations by the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Britain's anti-fraud, bribery, and corruption agency, showed the aircraft procurement in 2011 was marred with bribery and corruption. 


"This decision takes into account good corporate governance," Erick said in a press conference. 

Garuda began the early termination process on Feb 1 by ceasing the jet's operations. The airline had also tried to negotiate with NAC. 

"There were several discussions between Garuda and NAC to show our good intention. But unfortunately, the early termination plan has not received any response from them," Erick said.

Bombardier's jets was also an odd fit to Garuda's existing dominated by Boeing, Airbus, and ATR airplanes, making the jets' maintenance cost more expensive for the airline.

SFO launched an investigation regarding the corruption of Bombardier and Garuda Indonesia investigation in November.

Garuda sealed the deal for the Bombardier CRJ-1000 regional jets at Singapore Airshow in February 2012. Under the agreement, Garuda acquired six CRJ-1000 with an option to get 12 more jets that would bring the deal value to around $1.32 billion. 

The first Canadian-made regional jet arrived at Garuda's hangar in October 2012. Garuda took the last delivery of the CRJ-1000 in December 2015, bringing the total to 18 jets. 

Emirsyah Satar served as Garuda's president director at the Bombardier's deal. He is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence after the Indonesian Corruption Court found him guilty last May for taking bribes from European airplane manufacturer Airbus, Franco-Italian turboprop maker Avions de Transport Regional (ATR), Bombardier Canada, and British jet engine maker Roll-Royce.