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Immigration would not allow overseas pilot cover

2000 web siteAnsett pilot shortages as a result of industrial action could not be covered by overseas pilots, new information from the Government has shown.

Labour Immigration spokesperson Lianne Dalziel said an answer to a written question from Immigration Minister Tuariki Delamere rules out the possibility that the airline company could bring in overseas pilots during the lockout of its own pilots.

"I am extremely relieved about this, not least because I am aware of safety concerns associated with overseas pilots flying in New Zealand air space," Lianne Dalziel said.

"Under current immigration policy, work permits would only be issued to overseas pilots if the immigration service was satisfied that the employer could not find a suitably qualified and experienced New Zealand pilot.

"The Government has confirmed that pilots who are locked out remain employees and therefore it could not be said that the employer was unable to employ suitable New Zealand citizens or residents.

"I hope that the confirmation that it will not have overseas pilots as an option to fall back on will encourage Ansett to settle this dispute more speedily," Lianne Dalziel said.

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