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Interview

Garuda flies tricky path through China and Saudi travel bans

COVID-19 threatens routes that contribute 20% of revenue, new CEO says

Garuda Indonesia CEO Irfan Setiaputra is working on ways to refinance the carrier's nearly $800 million of debt. (Photo by Dimas Ardian)

JAKARTA -- While Indonesia has suffered less direct impact from the coronavirus than neighbors, flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is not safe yet, with the airline's new CEO revealing that a combined 20% of revenue comes from flights to China and Saudi Arabia.

Garuda is feeling the squeeze of international travel restrictions. Particularly harsh is Indonesia's ban on travel to China, which makes up 5% of the carrier's revenues, and Saudi Arabia suspending pilgrimages to Mecca, which account for 15%, Chief Executive Irfan Setiaputra said in a recent interview with the Nikkei Asian Review.

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