Monday, 20 October 2014: Fiji Airways Fiji’s National Airline, has officially opened established its own Flight Planning Unit with its Operations Control Centre, bringing in-house a service previously outsourced to Air New Zealand. The move has created further skill localisation for Fijian staff members, a key objective set-out in the airline’s five-year Strategic Master Plan.
The airline took a year and a half to establish the Flight Planning Unit in a continuation of a major overhaul of its Operations Control Centre (OCC) which opened in May 2013.
Seven local staff make up the team after successfully being trained in-house in an intense six-month long programme, making them Fiji Airways’ first locally trained Flight Planners. They report to the Manager Flight Planning.
Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO Stefan Pichler commented, “Flight Planning is an essential part of any airline operation, primarily for safety, which is our paramount priority, and to significantly enhance crew and flight efficiency. Therefore it only makes sense that we as the National Carrier are reliant and self-sufficient in such a critical area of our operations.”
He added: “A significant part of our five-year Strategic Master Plan has always been to provide local job opportunities where possible, and build capacity within the company. Not only does this new Flight Planning department contribute to this important domestic skill-enhancement, it also helps us maximise our efficiencies. Additionally, it boosts Fiji’s aviation infrastructure, reduces our long-term costs significantly, in the future we may offer this service to other airline’s flying to Fiji.”
Flight Planning is the process of producing a flight plan for any proposed aircraft flight and involves assessment of two critical aspects: fuel calculation and safety, including compliance with air traffic control requirements.
The department operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and currently looks after Flight Planning for Fiji Airways and will shortly also take on planning for Fiji Link’s ATR aircraft flights.