Friday, May 11, 2018

Nararas proudly flying PNG flag

by Malum Nalu,
May 11, 2018

THE Flying Nararas from Milne Bay have been holding high the Papua New Guinea flag high internationally from their base in the United Arab Emirates.
The latest achievement was in February, 2018, when young Nigel Narara checked out on the Airbus A330 aircraft as a captain.
Two generations of pilots. Captains Nigel, Tico and Granger Matata in a photo shoot prior to Dublin, Shanghangai and Johannesburg respectively.
He is now flying as a commander on both the A330 and A320 under the mixed-fleet flying programme with Etihad Airways.
Nigel moved to the UAE as a seven-year-old year old when his father Granger Narara began flying for Emirates Airlines in 1991, after leaving Air Niugini to work with Emirates Airlines as an A310 captain
After 15 years in Emirates, Granger moved to Etihad Airways where he is currently a senior instructor on A330/340 aircraft.
Nigel completed all his primary and secondary education in the UAE and went on to Embry Riddle Aeronautical College in Prescott, Arizona, USA in 2001 to do a degree in aeronautical science, until the events of Sept 11, 2001 put an end to those dreams.
He then transferred to the Royal Queensland Aero Club at Archerfield in Brisbane in 2003 where he completed his commercial pilot’s license and instrument rating.
He started his flying career with Milne Bay Airlines (now PNG Air), where he worked from 2004 to 2006, flying the Twin-Otter based in Port Moresby and Kairik in Enga.
In 2007, Nigel was able to secure a job as a cadet first officer with Air Arabia, a low cost airline based in the UAE, flying the Airbus A320 on a regional network, until August 2012 when he was employed by Etihad as a first officer on the Airbus A330.
When the wheels of the Etihad Airways Airbus A330 Flight 055 lifted off the ground in Abu Dhabi bound for Brussels on March 30, 2013, another milestone in PNG aviation history was made.
At the controls of Flight 055 was Captain Granger Narara, of Dobu Island, Milne Bay, and his co-pilot was none other than his oldest son, Nigel Narara.
This was the first time that a PNG father-and-son team was in control of an international airliner and a great achievement for PNG aviation and the Narara family.
“This is the highlight of my 36-year flying career, being able to fly with my son”, Granger said at the time.
“An achievement like this is a great way to tell the world that PNG can and does produce some of the best aviators in the world, something that we as a nation can all be proud of.
“This success is also being replicated in many other top notch professions, notably in the international oil and mining sector where the number of PNG professionals around the planet is increasing.
“We can be very proud that as a small nation we are able to produce pilots, engineers, oil and gas operators and many other professionals that can stand up and be counted amongst the best in the world.”
Nigel said: “I have always wanted to fly with Dad; he wasn’t as hard a captain as I thought he would be.”
His uncle Tico Narara, younger brother of Granger, joined Emirates in 1998 and was the first PNG pilot to commercially fly the big beast, the Airbus A380.
“We feel so blessed that we have been able to achieve so much in our flying careers,” says Captain Granger Narara, the senior.
“It is an honour for our family and our country.”
After this photo shoot, Capt Nigel Narara’s next flight was to Dublin, Ireland, Capt Tico Narara’s next flight was to Shanghai, China and Capt Granger Narara’s next flight was to Johannesburg, South Africa.
The world is really their playground.
Something for other Papua New Guineans to emulate.


  1. Fantastic achievement from an amazing family.really enjoyed working with Granger

  2. the Nararas doing us proud

  3. really inspired by your great achievements!