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Garuda Indonesia appoints little-known tech expert as new CEO

Incoming head tasked with keeping fortunes flying while squashing scandals

Garuda Indonesia aircraft is seen at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. (Photo by Shinya Sawai)

JAKARTA -- National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has appointed a relatively obscure technology expert as its new CEO on Wednesday, nearly two months after its former chief was sacked over allegations of smuggling.

Irfan Setiaputra becomes the fifth chief since 2014 at the majority state-owned airline, where normal tenure for a CEO is five years -- if it is not cut short due to political squabbles. Setiaputra faces the daunting task of balancing political considerations with improving company performance in an increasingly cutthroat aviation market.

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