Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia's employees union urged the government to revamp the company's management and board of directors, saying they feared the carrier will keep losing money in years to come if no change is forthcoming. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

Garuda's International Traffic Hit by Mount Agung Eruption


DECEMBER 19, 2017

Jakarta. National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has estimated its international traffic will be down by 15 percent in the period between mid-November and the year's end due to the eruption of Mount Agung in Bali.

However, the loss-making airline aims to be back in profit next year with an increase in revenue of 10 percent to 12 percent, Garuda Indonesia chief executive Pahala Mansury said on Monday (19/12).

Garuda Indonesia reported a $222 million net loss for in the first nine months of 2017.

Asked about the impact of the eruption of Mount Agung, which has cut tourism in Bali and shut Ngurah Rai International Airport for several days last month, Pahala said local demand for travel to Bali had held up better than international flights.

"The impact to domestic demand is not too significant. It only decreased by 5 percent," Pahala told reporters.

"However, our forecast for decreasing demand is around 15 percent for international passengers, mostly from China," he said.

The 3,000-meter volcano has shown a marked increase in activity in the last few months, stoking fears of a repeat of an eruption in 1963 that killed more than 1,000 people.

Authorities raised the alert status to the maximum after it started erupting last month, causing travel chaos by closing the island's airport for nearly three days.

Operations have since returned to normal at the airport, though there have been some travel cancelations, mostly by foreign visitors.

Mansury said the airline aims to carry 37 million to 39 million passengers in 2018, up from an estimated 35 million to 36 million passengers this year.