A very simple ceremony but important because of Indonesia's dire need of transport. Eight senior?
A very simple ceremony but important because of Indonesia's dire need of transport. Eight senior pilots were installed as Convair captains and four as Dakota captains. The manager of Garuda Indonesian Airways spoke briefly and introduced each captain.
Then two hostesses pinned the appropriated bars on each captain's shoulder epaulettes. Afterwards the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Transport, Mr Abdul Muttalip, addressed the gathering, and guests filed past congratulating the new captains.
Indonesia now has a total of 70 captains and co-pilots for Convairs and Dakotas. A total of 132 is needed to bring Garuda services back to the level before the anti-Dutch crisis blew up in December last. Even then Garuda was under frequent criticism for failing to provide and adequate service for the archipelago (some 3000 islands). Now, since the KPM (Dutch) shipping line has been withdrawn, it is all the more imperative that Garuda services should be fully maintained and expanded. But KLM, forced at the beginning to withdrawn from Indonesia, has also been forced to withdrawn its Dutch employees and a substantial number of Australians under contract to KLM, who were all working in various capacities for Garuda.
The pilots being installed were all described as "good chaps". but lacking in experience, but their flying hours now more than meet international standards. It is believed that continuing difficulties will be encountered in replacing departing foreign ground engineers and similar grades.