Main menu


Garuda Indonesia's new business plan could remove first class seats

featured image

  • garuda indonesia

    IATA/ICAO code:

    Airline type:
    full service carrier

    Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport

    Year Founded:

    sky team

    Irfan Setiaputra


Garuda Indonesia may scrap first-class cabins and cut most of its international flights as part of its restructuring. Airlines will instead focus on business, premium economy and economy seats in domestic and regional markets.

Garuda can remove first class

As Garuda Indonesia seeks a return to financial viability, it may drop first-class cabins entirely amid cuts to its international network. The airline plans to abandon first class service in favor of business, premium economy and economy seat models.

Currently, only two of the company’s eight Boeing 777-300ERs have eight first-class cabins each, while the remaining 777s are configured in a two-class layout. Over the years, Garuda has tapered off its first class offering, with eight of his 10 777-300ERs temporarily offering first class cabins.

Today’s simple flying video

Interestingly, one of Garuda’s two Boeing 777-300ERs may be leased by the Indonesian government.

International network cut

According to Secretary of State Eric Thohir, Garuda plans to cut not only first-class seats, but many more. Airlines also significantly reduce their international networks as they focus on serving domestic and regional markets.

Minister Eric Thohir said:

“Garuda has had the wrong business model in the past. Its leasing costs were well above the industry average and they need to fix that.”

Ultimately, Garuda plans to suspend most of its international services, with the exception of some destinations, such as Hajj flights to Saudi Arabia. Thohir added that Garuda Indonesia can offer a wider international network through codeshare agreements with other airlines.

Pre-pandemic fleet size

Garuda’s major restructuring continues, and it aims to be profitable by the end of 2023, following its last profitable quarter in 2019. The carrier has restructured about $9.5 billion of debt and successfully narrowed losses in the first quarter of 2022.

Garuda Indonesia aims to increase its fleet to 120 aircraft and is seeking lease agreements.Photo: Getty Images

As part of the overhaul, Garuda Indonesia will expand its fleet to around 120 aircraft, closer to its pre-pandemic size. Additional aircraft are likely to arrive on lease, and Garuda estimates that about 70 aircraft will be in service by the end of his 2022.

Garuda also plans to renegotiate orders for 49 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by reducing orders or delaying deliveries. As Simple Flying reported last month, Garuda returned the lone Boeing 737 MAX to its owner after it had been in storage for about three and a half years after his MAX was grounded in March 2019.

Have you ever flown first class on Garuda Indonesia? How does it compare to other first class offerings? Let us know in the comments.