Tuvalu News

TUVALU OFFICIALLY BUYS INTO AIR FIJI

SUVA, Fiji Islands (May 11, 2001 - Fiji's Daily Post/PINA Nius Online)---Two million dollars of Air Fiji shares were bought by the Government of Tuvalu yesterday. The shares were formerly owned by the troubled Kelton Investments Limited group of Fiji.

Air Fiji chief executive Ken MacDonald said the acquisition meant that the Government of Tuvalu now has a very substantial interest in Air Fiji.

Mr. MacDonald said senior officials of the airline were briefed by the Tuvalu High Commissioner, who confirmed that there was to be no operational changes and that 175 local employees of Air Fiji would still retain their positions.

Tuvaluans are able to travel further abroad through Fiji's Nadi and Nausori airports. Both Air Pacific and Air Marshalls provided services to Funafuti in the past but withdrew for economic reasons.

In April 1999, Air Fiji stepped in and provided this essential internal linkage for Tuvalu. In September last year, the airline upgraded services to Tuvalu utilizing a modern 30-seater Embraer Brasilia 120 Advanced.

The introduction of the aircraft was made possible by the Government of Tuvalu signing exclusive rights to Air Fiji to operate from Fiji to Tuvalu for a period of five years.



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