The plan has been carefully designed taking into consideration the current and future pilot requirements for both airlines, while enabling Fijian pilots to have a career at home.
Commencing in January 2015, the first of 20 pilots currently flying for Fiji Link will transfer to Fiji Airways as First Officers on Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft and will continue their flying career through to eventual Command (Captain) status. After these 20 pilots have made the transition, which will take place over two years, the remaining Fiji Link pilots who have the necessary qualifications will begin to transfer gradually to Fiji Airways as requirements dictate.
Stefan Pichler, Fiji Airways Group Managing Director and CEO commented: “We are committed and have made provisions in our Five-Year Master Plan to have a pilot localisation policy in place. This Pilot Progression Plan (PPP) has been worked out carefully between the two airlines to cater for operational readiness. It’s tangible and it’s here to stay. It is part of our efforts to become the employer of choice for all Fijians.”
Mr Pichler also stated that this Pilot Progression Plan provided an excellent opportunity for all Fijian pilots to have a full flying career from Twin Otter aircraft through to modern wide body aircraft such as the Airbus A330.
He added: “We recognize that so many young Fijians wishing to become aviators link their aspirations with us, as the National Airline Group. We are committed to honouring their career goals right here at home. Of course, we have to ensure the progression occurs methodically, as we need enough pilots to operate Fiji Link flights. And, we need pilots who are the best and most seasoned professionals we can get. The Plan now incentivises recently-hired Fiji Link pilots who currently do not have the necessary qualifications to progress to Fiji Airways, but will do in the near future.“
The PPP Pilot Progression Plan has been designed in two stages. The first stage is the transition of 20 identified Fiji Link pilots into Fiji Airways. The second stage will begin in 2017, and will allow pilots to transition to Fiji Airways as First Officers and return to Fiji Link for a period of time as ATR Captain, before returning to Fiji Airways to take up command on the jets.