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Air NZ confirms incident

Felix Chaudhary
Friday, January 12, 2018

AIR New Zealand has confirmed that a Boeing 777 aircraft was damaged when an Air Terminal Services mobile loading platform damaged a door of the aeroplane at Nadi International Airport last Sunday.

"A Boeing 777-300 aircraft sustained minor damage to a door on Sunday while at Nadi International Airport when a platform used to load the aircraft moved slightly against the door," the airline said in response to questions from this newspaper.

The Kiwi carrier said it remained confident in the abilities of ground handling staff in Nadi.

"All ground handling staff managing the servicing of our aircraft in Nadi are fully trained," it said.

"The minor damage has been repaired and the aircraft has returned to service."

ATS workers who have been involved in an impasse with management for the past 27 days have raised concerns about the ability of the ground handler to maintain services at Nadi International Airport with more than 200 workers not at work — including highly skilled senior engineers and equipment handlers.

The workers' representative — Federated Airline Staff Association — said the incident highlighted serious safety concerns at Nadi International Airport.

"The Air New Zealand accident report is not going to go away," said FASA national secretary Vilikesa Naulumatua.

"Investigations are well underway."

Mr Naulumatua said it was a serious issue that engineers at Nadi who cleared the aircraft to fly had failed to detect the damage when they had conducted mandatory pre-flight inspections while the Boeing 777 was on the tarmac.

When contacted for comment on the issue, ATS acting CEO Hare Mani referred the query to ATS human resources manager Richard Donaldson.

Mr Donaldson said the allegations raised by FASA were being investigated.

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