THE GARUDA Indonesia Pilot Association (APG) is threatening to go on strike if the national carrier refuses to meet its demands for local pilots to have pay equity with their foreign counterparts.
According to APG technical deputy, Isays Sampesule, the strike is scheduled to take place in two week’s time.
A foreign captain working for Garuda can earn up to US$10,200 per month including benefits, while a local captain’s earning power is only about 43 million rupiah (US$5,050) per month.
Garuda’s executive vice president operations, Ari Sapari, said recruting foreign pilots was part of the airline’s plans for expansion.
He explained that Garuda had no choice but to hire foreign pilots, as it took time for trainees to graduate from the local pilot academies and gain the flying time and licenses required.
He added: “The (local) pilots have full employment status, while the foreign ones are on contract, so they are temporarily hired. Therefore, both have different payment schemes.”
Garuda has 700 local pilots and 100 foreign pilots on its payroll.