14 Jan 2005

Fiji pilots threaten legal action over foreign aircrew

7:38 am on 14 January 2005

The Fiji Airline Pilots' Association says it will launch legal action against Air Pacific and the Government, who are shareholders, if action isn't taken to address the number of overseas pilots being used.

Last week two senior pilots resigned to take jobs with foreign airlines and the Association says ten will follow shortly.

The Associations' Industrial Adviser, Pramod Rae, says Air Pacific is hiring expatriates and contracting overseas pilots short-term, effectively blocking locals from progressing their career.

Mr Rae says the Association has been warning the government of the disatisfaction for a while now.

"The situation is really alarming and our people are frustrated. The Fiji Airline Pilots' Association has made submissions to government, we have a number of disputes in the process and we also intend to take the airline and the government over this matter."

Mr Rae says if the Transport Minister Simione Kaitani can resolve the matter soon then court action will not be needed.