NEGOTIATIONS between Air Niugini and the National Airline Employees Association (NAEA) have resulted in a new award replacing the previous award which has expired.

The award covers over 1,160 employees who are mainly employed in administration, finance, sales, airport, security and cargo areas.

Negotiations between NAEA and the group commenced in July 2015.

The new award will run for four years, from 2015 until 2018.

Housing allowances was one key feature of the award.

Although not a condition of employment, accommodation for employees has always been a major concern for management, Air Niugini said.

The recently negotiated award has allowed for further improvements to the existing housing allowances, according to the company.

Air Niugini said it hopes employees utilise the benefit properly and use the government assistance through Bank South Pacific as well as the tax concessions available to purchase and or build homes.

In addition, the group has offered to work with the union to assist Air Niugini employees to obtain loans to purchase homes.

From the commencement of the negotiations right up until reaching agreement, the spirit of partnership and respect between both parties has been one of the main driving forces, Air Niugini said.

Issues relating to productivity improvement and being results and customer oriented have been taken into consideration by the company.

These are key drivers to Air Niugini’s future direction, two of the very important ones being competition and privatisation, Air Niugini said.

The award brings mutual benefits and gains, ultimately providing for the growth and expansion of Air Niugini as well as continued and improved employment opportunities for the employees, the group said.

Providing a safe and affordable airline service to the people of PNG and abroad remains a key driver for the company.