Court sets PX pilots’ appeal hearing to June 27

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The Supreme Court in Waigani yesterday set June 27 for the hearing of an appeal by eight airline pilots regarding their termination last year.
Justice Nicholas Kirriwom (pictured)  gave directions for the pilots’ lawyer to file extracts of their submissions and have them served to the respondents (Air Niugini Limited) two weeks before the hearing date.
The pilots are Captains Joseph Kumasi, Boris Ageda, Vincent Tongia, Benjamin Lopa, Norman Daniel, Elijah Yuangi, David Seken and Abel Kanego.
They were employed by Air Niugini until Sept 6 last year when it terminated their employment based on disciplinary reasons. They filed their appeals to challenge a national court decision on Feb 7 which dismissed their judicial review case regarding their termination.
The Supreme Court has ordered an interim stay to the national court decision and  granted interim reliefs to maintain status quo, allowing them full salaries and put a stop their evictions from Air Niugini’s properties.
The national court, presided by Justice Colin Makail, dismissed their judicial review case because it was of the
view that their employments were of private nature and could not be reviewed by the court.
The court heard that Kumasi, Ageda, Tongia, Lopa, and Daniel were employed under a contract while Yuangi, Seken and Kanego were employed as cadet pilots.

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