AIR NIUGINI FIRES MANAGING DIRECTOR OGIL

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By Moresi Ruahma'a

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (June 28, 2000 – The National)---Air Niugini chief executive Andrew Ogil has been sacked.

The airline's board of directors said Mr. Ogil's sacking as the managing director was due to irreconcilable differences, particularly in relation to a number of operational issues and business strategy.

The board appointed Michael Buleau as acting managing director replacing Mr. Ogil.

Mr. Buleau, from Manus, was the airline's general manager of commercial services and has been with Air Niugini for the past 20 years.

Announcing Mr. Ogil's dismissal, deputy chairperson Nahau Rooney said: "At the moment, the airline needs a lot of push to make it turn around.''

She told The National last night from her hotel room at the Islander Travelodge: "A lot needs to be done in restructuring the company to make it business oriented and profitable."

Having just been back from Fiji where she had the opportunity to learn about the Fiji government's own airline, Air Pacific, Mrs. Rooney said: "The government is very clear on its policy on privatization, to move from public sector to private, and as a board we got to move forward and make Air Niugini business oriented.''

She said Air Niugini could learn from Air Pacific, which is one of the profitable airlines today in the Pacific region after undergoing a restructure.

Mrs. Rooney said that the board's decision to terminate Mr. Ogil was tough. "It was done for the interest of Air Niugini."

Mr. Ogil was appointed managing director of the airline in 1998 by the Skate government. He was head of an overseas mission in Australia prior to his appointment.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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