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Air NZ Loses Engineering Experience

4 September 2002

Air NZ Loses Engineering Experience

National MP Gerry Brownlee says he is staggered that Transport Minister Paul Swain is showing no concern that Air New Zealand will be one of the only airlines in the world without a qualified technical aviation engineer in its executive. "At time when Air New Zealand has bits falling off planes all over the place - and has decided to cut its maintenance budget by 22.5% - it is losing Bill Jacobson, the Senior Vice President Technical and Operations, and the only executive board member with technical aviation experience and qualifications.

"The Government has invested more than $800m in Air New Zealand, making it now effectively a Government-owned airline. It must protect the taxpayer's asset.

"The Government must take responsibility for cutbacks in maintenance and ensuring that its maintenance and engineering are up to standard.

"Transport Minister Paul Swain should take steps to ensure that the Air New Zealand board has an executive member experienced in technical aviation engineering," Mr Brownlee said. Mr Jacobson's replacement is Craig Sinclair, the former chief executive of the Airways Corporation whose expertise are in radar and tracking systems.

Ends


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