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This is Your Captain Speaking

Lion Air and Garuda Indonesia Hire Largest Number of Foreign Pilots.

(8/22/2011) Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air are the two Indonesian airline employing the largest number of foreign pilots with 184 working as either captains or co-pilots.

Information provided by the director general of Air Communications from the Ministry of Transportation, Herry Bakti S. Gumay, shows Garuda Indonesia employs 840 local pilots and 34 foreign pilots while Lion Air has 570 local pilots with 150 foreign pilots.

Herry said the Lion Air foreign pilots are paid on the same level as Indonesian pilots, with the foreign flyers listed as undergoing training. Meanwhile foreign pilots at Garuda Indonesia are paid higher contract rates but without the many fringe benefits enjoyed by local-hire pilots.

All of Garuda’s 34 foreign pilots work on a contract basis. Of Garuda’s complement of 800 Indonesian pilots, 700 are recorded as permanent hire with the remaining 100 working on a contract basis.

Presently Indonesia graduates only 90 new pilots each year, a number wholly inadequate to meet the rapidly rising demand for new pilots from the country’s large aviation sector.

Garuda Indonesia has a contract with the Bali International Flight Academy (BIFA) in North Bali and the Aviation Academy Curug, Tangerang (Sekolah Tinggi Penerbangan Indonesian) where the national carrier has 200 cadets now undergoing training.

On July 28, 2011, many of Garuda Indonesia’s local pilots briefly went on strike demanding equal pay with foreign pilots employed by the airline. Senior management of the airline maintains that Indonesian pilots receive a while range of allowances and pension benefits not paid to foreign pilots.

Discussions between Garuda’s management and its Indonesian pilots union are continuing with the management of the Airline assuring an agreement with the pilots will be hand before the end of August.

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