Tuvalu Critical of Air Fiji
Saturday, July 22, 2006
JUST days away from a replacement aircraft promised to end problems with Air Fiji's flights to Tuvalu, the country's high commissioner has criticised the standard of the airline's services.
Seve Paeniu said Air Fiji's services to his country "over the recent few months, has become very irregular and unreliable".
The Tuvaluan government is a shareholder in Air Fiji.
"We have expressed those concerns to Air Fiji management a number of times," Mr Paeniu said. "We are told by management that Air Fiji is bringing in a new and larger plane, a 50-seater Convair aircraft, to replace the old Brasilia plane. They say that will resolve all these concerns," he said.
"We are very hopeful that with the introduction of this Convair all these problems with plane delays and cancellations will be eliminated," he said.
Air Fiji's public relations consultant, Richard Broadbridge said the new Convair aircraft, wet-leased from Air Chatham, would start operations on Monday. He said if Tuvalu had any concerns about the standard of services, those would be discussed at a meeting to be held soon between the two sides.
Meanwhile, Mr Broadbridge said the airline had already started employing new approaches to address the concerns raised about its performance locally.
He was commenting on discussions between the airline's representatives and the Minister for Tourism and Transport, Tomasi Vuetilovoni this week. The meeting came after a stream of complaints about Air Fiji's domestic service.
Mr Vuetilovoni could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Mr Broadbridge said the meetings were a regular occurrence.
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