SIA, Lufthansa, KLM, THAI consider partnership with Indonesia's Garuda

JAKARTA (XFNews) - Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Thai Airways International Airlines expressed interest in forming a strategic partnership with PT Garuda Indonesia, which may include injecting funds into the ailing national flag carrier, an official at the office of the Indonesian State Minister for State Enterprises said.

"Large international airlines that have filed (their interest) to become a strategic partner are airlines such as KLM, Thai Airways, Lufthansa and SQ (Singapore Airlines)," the office's secretary Said Didu told reporters.

He said the partnership may include an option to convert any cash injection into Garuda shares.

Garuda has also asked the government for a bridge loan of 105 mln usd for this year, he added.

"I think the government has to be ready to provide this loan if there is no strategic partner within one year," Didu said.

The airline has trouble meeting its annual debt payment of about 100 mln usd amid tighter competition and rising fuel costs.

Garuda president Emirsyah Satar said the airline has secured a deal to reschedule its annual prinicipal payment on its 515 mln usd debt.

State Minister for State Enterprises Sugiharto said last month the government considers selling Garuda to strategic investors this year.

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