Captain Marc Cruz is currently on assignment through Rishworth Aviation at Wings Air on the ATR 72-500/600. Captain Cruz took some time to answer a few questions and share his experience of his first 12 months with Wings Air.
Tell us a bit about your aviation career so far. When did you start training to be a pilot and what airlines have you worked for?
I have been in the field of aviation for almost 13 years. I started being a Ground Instructor at the flying school I graduated from and then moved on to fly various General Aviation and Light Commuter aircraft in the Philippines. After starting my flight training back in 2005, I worked extensively for a charter company and two exclusive Airlines flying for the most prestigious island resorts in the Philippines, Island Transvoyager Inc. (ITI) which flies to El Nido in Palawan and Alphaland Aviation Inc. which flies for the members of Balesin Island Club, an exclusive island resort located in Polillo, Quezon some 65 Nautical Miles East of Manila. After that I decided to work for Wings Air.
What attracted you to Wings Air?
The opportunity to work outside of my country, to be exposed to flying to different places such as Indonesia and to be part of the fastest growing airline and largest ATR operator in Asia.
What is the best thing about working at Wings Air?
The destinations Wings Air fly to, the working environment and calm atmosphere. Aside from the camaraderie between the Pilots and Crew, we treat each other like we are a family. The management is approachable and accommodating to any pilot concern. Flying for Wings Air will give you more exposure and experience as a pilot and the flying hours are great.
What do you enjoy most about being based in Jakarta?
The food and the culture. Considering that this is a Muslim country, there is a lot of choices of western and Asian cuisines, and also the local Indonesian foods which are available on every corner. You can also order food through the Go-jek application on your mobile phone to be delivered to you. There are also a lot of Malls around Jakarta that I spend my free time in during my days off and the nightlife is fantastic. The culture is less of an adjustment for me as it is very similar to my country, the only thing I need is to learn the Bahasa Language, which I'm learning right now.
Tell us a bit about what kind of accommodation is available to pilots based in Jakarta.
There’s a lot of accommodation available here in Jakarta. You could choose from Condo/Apartment living if you are single or with a family or you could choose a full-size residential Unit or Villa if you want a bigger place for your family. There are lots of International schools to choose from and the cost of living is not that high compared to other countries.
What has your experience of working with Rishworth Aviation been like?
Working with Rishworth is the best. From the very beginning of my application, until to the start of my contract with Wings Air, they were very helpful and assisted me with my needs. The best part of working with Rishworth is that they take good care of me. When I arrived here in Indonesia, their country representative greeted me upon my arrival at the airport. The team at Rishworth is always available and easy to reach.
You are from the Philippines, how do you find commuting to and from home on your days off?
Commuting to and from home is as easy as one, two and three. After I finish duty, I am usually able to fly back to Manila within the day or early in the morning the next day. Because of the flexible schedule Wings Air offers, I can choose my flight back home. Manila is just a 4-hour direct flight from Jakarta, so I can arrive early and have plenty of time with my family during my days off. Travelling back to Jakarta is easy as well, I usually arrive late in the evening from Manila. With this schedule and my roster pattern, I am able to maximize my days off.
Would you recommend Wings Air to other pilots?
I strongly recommend joining Wings Air. The company is great and accommodating plus the exposure to flying is at its best. With a dynamic company like this, I am sure that you will enjoy working and flying in Indonesia. With thousands of islands to explore and majestic landscapes coupled with the hospitality of the Indonesian people that will always give you a smile, Indonesia is a great place to be based.