Emirsyah Satar strongly believes in the principle that “Good is not good enough when better is expected,” as he always feels challenged to do better, better and even better.
Emirsyah is the youngest CEO of state flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and one of the longest serving. He has turned around what was once an ailing airline and set it on the path for growth and profitability. That has been no easy feat given the history of the airline and the tough competition it has faced. His success has set the bar high for other state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and proved that, with the right leadership, it can compete with the private sector.
Prior to joining the airline industry, Emirsyah had already earned a reputation as an experienced banker and financier. Born on 28 June 1959, Emirsyah Satar received his degree in Accounting from the University of Indonesia in 1978. Previously, he had completed academic programs at the Sorbonne University in Paris.
Emirsyah began his career in the financial industry as an auditor at Price Waterhouse Cooper. He quickly assumed key positions in several multinational companies in Citibank N.A, Jan Darmadi Group and Niaga Finance, Hong Kong.
In 1998, Emirsyah returned to Indonesia to become the EVP Finance for Garuda Indonesia. During that time, he played a major role in the airline’s financial restructuring process carried out in 2001, which amounted to US$ 1.8 billion. Thanks to his invaluable banking and finance experience, he was instrumental in helping Garuda Indonesia avoid bankruptcy. In recognition of this achievement he received the “Financial Restructuring of the Year” accolade by the New York “Travel Finance” magazine.
In 2008, Emirsyah was elected as the Chairman of INACA (Indonesian National Air Carrier Associations). Emirsyah is also actively involved in the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce as Vice Chairman for Transportations.
He has also taken the company public, listing it on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) in February 2011. These accomplishments have not only elevated Emirsyah’s status as one of the most talented corporate leaders in the country, they have also proved that state-owned enterprises can succeed in a tough market environment with the right leadership.
Over the last five years under the leadership of Emirsyah the airline has undergone a
major financial and operational turnaround culminating in the IPO of Garuda Indonesia in February 2011. Garuda Indonesia’s success has also been recognized by being named “World’s Most Improved Airline 2010” by SkyTrax Research and “Turnaround Airline of the Year 2010” by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation. In 2012, Garuda Indonesia also been recognized as “Best Regional Airline 2012”, followed by another accomplishment in 2013 as “World’s Best Economy Class 2013” and “World’s Best Economy Class Seat”. In 2014, Garuda Indonesia made another milestone achievement, by being named “World’s Best Cabin Crew 2014” by SkyTrax.
Emirsyah Satar has been a Member of IATA Board of Governors since 2010. Being a Board of Governors member, Emirsyah is actively involved in formulating policy directives and guidance to IATA Industry Committee and to subsidiary bodies.
Presenting a new level of service excellence in air travel, Garuda Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia, seamlessly connects more than 64 destinations worldwide to not only one of the largest economies in Southeast Asia, but also an array of exotic locations in the beautiful archipelago of Indonesia all at once. With approximately 500 daily flights and a fleet of around 140 aircraft, Garuda Indonesia proudly serves our passengers with the award-winning “Garuda Indonesia Experience” service, which highlights Indonesia’s warm hospitality and rich diverse culture.
The airline continuously strives, through its ongoing transformation program, to provide better and more convenient services with one of the youngest fleets in the sky, which should grow to around 194 aircraft by 2015. In March 2014, Garuda Indonesia joined SkyTeam, the global airline alliance with 20 members, providing access to an extensive global network with over 15,700 daily flights to 1,064 destinations in 178 countries.