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Aviation industry loses skilled workers


May 23, 2022 12:33:39 PM

Aviation industry loses skilled workers The aviation sector has lost a lot of critical staff including pilots and engineers.

Association of  South Pacific Airlines chief executive George Faktaufon in a panel discussion  said these people have found alternative employment and do not wish to return to the aviation sector.

“Aviation sector have lost a lot of critical staff, we have lost a lot of critical staff, pilots and engineers,  specialist staff  over these two and half years,” he said.

“These people have lost found alternative employment and do not wish to come back to the aviation sector. Also, some have not received their coronavirus vaccination.

“Like for an example, Air New Zealand had deferred the Christchurch-Cook Islands service probably until next year probably because of a shortage of pilots,” he said.

While being asked whether Fiji Airways should recruit staff that was laid off in 2020 to save costs, he said they were not welcome to apply as they had taken the organisation to court.

“I'm afraid I can't answer you because I don't know the background to why they're not hiring those people whom they have laid off during the pandemic,” he said.

“I can only speculate that maybe they are close to retirement. I don't know. I think this is something governments would get involved.

“In Fiji airways case, you will be aware that there was a court case and to my understanding it's those involved in the court case were unofficially not welcome to apply.

“I mean, if we had already trained people, it's logical to try and get them in because you only require minimum training to keep them on track, particularly cabin crew,” he said.

He said only nine South Pacific Tourism Organisations member countries have at least a targeted date for reopening.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka



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