Man-Made Air Turbulence

Garuda Indonesia Management Deal with Sriwijaya Air Threatened with Collapse

The agreement for the State-owned flag carrier Garuda Indonesia to provide management assistance to Sriwijaya Air is reportedly under serious threat as Garuda Indonesia has begun removing its logos from the Sriwijaya Air fuselages under their command.

As reported by The Jakarta Globe, the dispute was sparked by recent changes announced by Sriwijaya Air in the composition of its board of directors.

Ikhsan Rosan, speaking on behalf of Garuda Indonesia, defended the removal of the Garuda logo from Sriwijaya Air’s equipment as necessary to protect the National Flag-Carrier’s reputation. Rosan said that Sriwijaya was failing to maintain Garuda’s service standards. Adding, "We need to say that the decision to withdraw the Garuda Indonesia logo was made to ensure that our logo continues to represent safety and good service during flights.”

Claiming the decision to separate the two brands, while regrettable, Rosan explained that the move was being made after careful consideration, confirming the logo removal program was now underway.

Garuda Indonesia’s senior management was reportedly angered when, in September, Sriwijaya Air summarily fired their president director, Adrian Saul, human capital and service director Harkandri M Dahler, and commercial director Joseph K. Tendean.  All three men were hired by Sriwijaya from Garuda Indonesia. The three men were presumed to have played a fundamental role in the agreement put in place to surrender management control to Garuda in what was widely seen as a stop-gap measure to save Sriwijaya Air.

In a move that apparently greatly displeased Garuda, the shareholders of Sriwijaya have replaced Adrian Saul, appointing Anthony Raimond Tampubolon as acting president director. 

Transportation Ministry officials have called on Garuda and Sriwijaya to find an amicable solution to their current dispute, but, at the same time, has said the Government cannot interfere in what is essentially a commercial dispute.

On November 9, 2018, Garuda’s low-cost subsidiary Citilink assumed management control of Sriwijaya Air and Nam Air as part of an overall plan to resume Garuda’s role as the largest domestic air carrier in Indonesia.

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