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Garuda Indonesia cuts back again as expansion plan fizzles

Airline's hallmark luxury service may be too pricey to sustain

Garuda Indonesia is cutting back on premium offerings that have defined its image in recent years.

JAKARTA -- Garuda Indonesia has embarked on yet another round of restructuring that could do away with its famously luxurious first-class offerings and reverse recent service expansions as rival airlines crowd the Southeast Asian travel market.

The Indonesian airline's cabin and service features were on full display at the latest Garuda Indonesia Travel Fair, which opened Sept. 22. Garuda President Pahala Nugraha Mansury guided Rini Soemarno, Indonesia's minister of state-owned enterprises, through a show floor thronging with visitors. When the pair reached an interactive mock-up of Garuda's first-class seats, Pahala delivered the news in a whisper: Garuda is cutting back first-class service.

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