News Southern

Suspended Air Niugini Pilots’ trial to proceed


A Supreme Court decision has allowed the matter involving eight terminated Air Niugini Pilots, to be heard by a full court.

The decision by Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, gave orders that the pilots resume duties and be put back on pay roll.

The eight pilots were terminated after they called in sick, days after university students protested for Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill to step down, in 2016.

It was exciting news for the eight pilots, who were present in court when the decision was handed down.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia ruled that the trial will be conducted either in  April or July.

Sir Salamo based his decision on the grounds that the trial judge at the National Court, Justice Collin Makail, did not consider the pilots’ submissions that Air Niugini was a state entity, despite having the characteristics of a private company.

The pilots were put off the payroll in February by the National Court decision.

This was because the court found that the pilots had private contracts with the airline.

However, the pilots have appealed to the Supreme Court to review the decision of the trial judge and the Supreme Court has accepted their appeal, allowing a proper trial to proceed.


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