Garuda Confirms Debt Restructuring Plans as Cashflows Hit

Indonesia’s flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia confirmed it is taking steps to restructure its debt and revamp its business in order to stay afloat amid the pandemic.

The airline is negotiating terms with plane lessors and is talking with banks and business partners to restructure its loans, according to a stock exchange filing submitted late Thursday.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced dozens of airlines and other aviation businesses to restructure or seek bankruptcy protection. For Garuda, failure to execute the restructuring program could result in an abrupt end of the 71-year-old carrier because of negative cashflow and minus 41 trillion rupiah ($2.9 billion) in equity, according to an audio recording of President Director Irfan Setiaputra’s address to staff last week.

Garuda shares fell as much as 5% in Jakarta trading on Friday, taking their decline to 16% this week.

“Everything that the company is doing is aimed at maintaining operational performance and preserving liquidity that has been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Garuda said in the statement, which confirms a recording heard by Bloomberg over the weekend.

As part of the restructuring, Garuda plans to expand its cargo business, increasing its contribution to total operating revenue to 40% from 10% to 15% currently, it said in the filing. Its total liabilities stood at around $3.5 billion as of Sept. 30, according to its latest available financial report

The oldest airline in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy has 142 aircraft to serve more than 90 more domestic and international destinations, according to a presentation on the airline’s website. The management has indicated it won’t operate more than 70 as it undergoes a comprehensive restructure.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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