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Air Niugini takes steps to address Pilot Shortage

PNG's National flag carrier Air Niugini’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Simon Foo has confirmed that the airline has already taken steps to address the current pilot shortage by improving terms and conditions of the existing crew to stay competitive in the market and also stepped up recruitment of additional pilots.

He said with the current shortage of pilots worldwide, airlines such as Air Niugini and a number of regional airlines in Australia are being affected as the larger airlines can afford to offer more attractive terms and conditions for pilots.

Mr Foo acknowledged that Air Niugini’s domestic service delivery has dropped in recent months due to a number of reasons including prolonged wet weather conditions, volcanic eruption in East Sepik and pilot shortage, however he assured the traveling public that ANG has taken steps with some changes already implemented while others will follow.

Recently the traveling public would have seen the news on the first PNG female jet captain in Captain Beverly Pakii.

Mr Foo said “We have now increased our training program by 30 percent to deliver the additional crew required as more pilots are being recruited.

“In addition, the ANG Board has approved changes to the terms and conditions of existing crew to encourage them to remain competitive on the world market. Aviation industry is a highly regulated and compliant industry. Our safety will never be compromised and as a consequence this process takes time.”

Mr Foo said the flying conditions in PNG are challenging and the experience gained and reputation achieved by Air Niugini’s pilots makes them very attractive for other airlines seeking well trained, competent and diligent crew.

““Air Niugini operates within a global aviation community and is impacted by events and factors in other countries leading to the current shortage of crew.

“Whilst Air Niugini strives to be a good employer, at the same time we have to live within our means.” Mr Foo said.

As we enter into a traditionally low period, Air Niugini has temporarily reduced its flight schedule in order to improve the reliability of the remaining flights.

“ Through the increased retention strategies, recruitment and training programs, we will continue to provide safe and efficient air travel to the people of this country. We thank you all for your loyal patronage and support. “ Mr Foo concluded.
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