The FINANCIAL — Fiji Airways has on April 4 announced the appointment of Captain Manu Rajappa as Chief Pilot and Manager Flight Operations for Fiji Link, its domestic subsidiary. Captain Rajappa joined Fiji Link in February 2007, and until his new appointment was Fiji Link’s ATR Fleet Captain and Training Manager.
With 7,612 flight hours under his belt, Captain Rajappa took command of the ATR42-500 in 2008. He became a Check and Training Captain role in 2009 and played a key role in the ATR42/72-600 introduction and fleet transition. He replaces Captain Gerald Erbsleben, who has tendered his resignation, according to Fiji Airways.
Fiji Link General Manager Thomas Robinson stated: “We thank Captain Erbsleben for his years of service to Fiji Link, and are proud to confirm Captain Rajappa as his replacement. He has the admiration of the management and team at both Fiji Link and Fiji Airways. As Chief Pilot, Captain Rajappa will manage Fiji Link’s 71 pilots and ensure the safety of our flight operations. This role is obviously crucial in maintaining all of our professional standards, which includes on-going training, mentorship, operational excellence and reliability of Fiji Link.”
As a result of Captain Rajappa’s promotion, two further management changes have been announced by Fiji Link.
Captain Nitesh Prasad replaces Captain Rajappa as Training Manager and will act as ATR Fleet Captain until a permanent appointment is made. Captain Nitesh joined Fiji Link in August 2009 and worked his way up to a Training Captain on the ATR fleet.
First officer Neli Vuatalevu has been appointed Line Operations Manager. He has been with the Airline since February 2007, and has spent a lot of time as a Check and Training Captain on the Twin Otters before moving on to the ATRs. Vuatalevu is in the process of getting his Command on the ATR42/72–600 aircraft.
Stefan Pichler, Fiji Airways Board Director added: “By placing another home-grown professional in the position of Chief Pilot for Fiji Link, we’re very clearly signalling our focus on what Fiji Link offers Fijian aviators – a fulfilling pilot progression pathway within the Fiji Airways Group. We aim to increase our complement ratio of locals to expatriate pilots, and the new pilot management changes announced today speak volumes about the skills and experience Fijian pilots have.”