Indonesian flag carrier Garuda is expecting to raise 300 million US dollars in an initial share offer scheduled for 2010.
Company president and chief executive Emirsyah Satar has announced that the new funding will be used to implement the airline's long-term growth plans.
"Our debt restructuring is almost complete and we're looking to go public by mid this year," Satar told a news conference on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow. "We plan to raise approximately 300 million US dollars which will be used to support our long-term growth plans."
Satar said Garuda has yet to determine the underwriters of its initial public offering (IPO) which will either be in the "late second quarter or early third quarter" on the Jakarta stock exchange.
Garuda will take delivery of 24 new aircraft this year and plans to increase its fleet size to 116, from 67 at present, by 2014. The fleet will be based mainly on Boeing 737-800s and Airbus A330-300/20s, which are operated on medium- and long-haul routes. Satar said the carrier has converted the 10 Boeing 787 jets it ordered two years ago into Boeing 777-300E aircraft because Garuda was not willing to wait out the delays in the production of the 787 plane. To address concerns from potential investors, Satar said the airline, which had been dogged by a poor safety record, had been strictly complying with international standards. "We've been very serious and we don't compromise on this," he told AFP after his press briefing. "There's always scepticism, so what we do is we have to promote and continue to tell the public about what we're doing. Perception and reality are not always the same." He also said the airline was "continuously training" its personnel, including pilots and mechanics, with the help of foreign experts. Garuda has announced an aggressive expansion plan running through to 2014. Garuda's fleet will now feature a new interior, with individual touch-screen LCD screens in Economy and Business Class for inflight entertainment. The airline also plans to increase its domestic and international services to North America and Europe. Garuda, which made a net profit of one trillion rupiah (107 million US) last year, is also planning to establish its own budget carrier.