JAKARTA, March 26: Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia said annual profit jumped 56 per cent last year, as strong economic growth and a growing middle class fuel a travel boom in the country.

Net profit increased to 808.7 billion rupiah ($88 million) in 2011 compared to 518.15 billion rupiah in 2010, a company spokesman said in a statement received by AFP.

He said that the company carried 17.1 million passengers last year, an increase of 36.2 per cent from 2010, helping to fuel a 39.1 per cent rise in revenue to 27.2 trillion rupiah.

An expanding middle class, strong economic growth, political stability and the need to link the resource-rich islands are fuelling a travel boom in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, according to analysts.

Indonesian growth hit a 15 year high of 6.5 per cent in 2011 and is projected to come in between 6.3 and 6.7 per cent this year.

Garuda is aiming to boost its competitiveness significantly by 2015 by nearly doubling its current fleet of 89 aircraft to 154.—AFP

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