by Bridgette Komatep – EM TV, Port Moresby
Following the mass resignation of pilots from Air Niugini, the minister responsible for state enterprises, Ben Micah says this doesn’t affect the airline’s operations.
With its nil track record of air traffic accidents, Minister Micah gave his assurance to the traveling public that safety for passengers remains a priority.
Minister Micah was responding to a series of questions put forward by Chuave MP Wera Mori. Recently, 50 pilots from the state-owned airline company resigned from duty due to disagreements with their new working contracts.
Of this group, five are national pilots.
Chuave MP Wera Mori was worried about the safety of passengers.
In response, Minister Micah clarified that the recent changes were part of the company’s move to rationalise its cost structure, given the fact that expatriate pilots were paid from their point of hire from overseas.
Minister Micah said it was only right to start paying pilots from where and when they commence work. He says the issue is well managed by Air Niugini’s top management and its union.
Minister Micah also clarified that Link PNG is 100 per cent subsidiary-owned by Air Niugini and the 50 per cent shares sale of Air Niugini would be done as one and not two separate sales.
Link PNG would be used to service remote isolated areas throughout the country.