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Indonesia's Garuda lost 120 pilots in resignations this year

16-Dec-2005

JAKARTA (XFNews) - Ailing national flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia lost 120 pilots in resignations this year and may lose another 30 to 40 pilots this month as they plan to resign over unfavorable payments and working conditions, Bisnis Indonesia reported quoting the airline's pilot association.

Bisnis quoted Garuda Pilot Association president Stephanus G.S. as saying that most pilots moved to competing regional airlines such as India's Air Sahara and Malaysia's AirAsia.

He said the pilots who quit had worked for Garuda for 10 years on average. They left due to unfavorable payments and working conditions, he said.

Garuda executive vice president for operations Ari Sapari confirmed the pilots' mass resignation, Bisnis reported. He said that because of Garuda's financial limits, its pilots have become prone to being headhunted by competing airlines.

"Other airlines, especially low cost carriers, are willing to approach Garuda pilots with high salary offers because they do not have to train them anymore," he said.

Garuda is struggling to pay off its debts, which cost the airline some 110 mln usd a year in principle and interest payments. The airline is facing tough competition from regional and lost cost carriers and a surge in operational costs due to higher fuel prices.

At the end of December 2004 Garuda posted a net loss of 811 billion rupiah.


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