Garuda ready to hear pilots’ grievances

Padangekspres.net-National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia said Friday that it was ready to sit down with its pilots to solve an internal conflict between the two parties.

“We are ready to come together with our pilots who want to deliver their aspirations in relation with the presence of foreign pilots,” Garuda Indonesia vice president corporate communications Pujobroto said in a statement received by The Jakarta Post.

Pilots under the Garuda Pilots Association threatened earlier in the day to strike on July 28 from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. because they “could not trust the Garuda management anymore”.

The pilots said that they would go head with the plan if the management failed to solve the discrepancy between the salaries of local and foreign pilots.

A foreign co-pilot gets US$7,200 a month while a local captain gets Rp 40 million ($4,680) a month.

“As we mentioned before, the presence of foreign pilots is temporary. Their contracts are for only a year,” he continued.

Hiring foreign pilots, Pujobroto said, was part of Garuda’s efforts to become a world-class airline, anticipating the “ASEAN Open Sky 2015”.

To support its efforts, Garuda is expanding its fleet to 154 airplanes, and thus needs more pilots.

Garuda has hired pilots from the PLP Curug in Tangerang and Bali International Flight Academy, but the new pilots are not ready to operate airplanes as they need further training.

Pujobroto said foreign pilots did not get the benefits that local pilots received, including retirement health insurance and a pension.

“The presence of foreign pilots is also to speed up Garuda pilots’ careers. To become a captain from a co-pilot will [only] take 9.7 years instead of the 18 years previously,” he said.

Pujobroto also ensured that the “total reward” system applied by Garuda Indonesia was appropriate. (swd)

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