3 Aug 2004

Samoa's goverment concerned about Air NZ taking share in Polynesian Airlines

7:36 am on 3 August 2004

The Samoa government says it's been flooded with interest from airlines wanting to become partners to Polynesian Airlines.

The administration's been looking for more money to prop up the state-owned airline.

The Finance Minister, Misa Telefoni, says a second round of talks will take place later this month involving Virgin Blue and Qantas.

Misa says Air New Zealand has now joined discussions:

"We're looking to talk to Air New Zealand in the middle of August; but we do have an inherent problem with Air New Zealand because we're very keen to ensure there's competition on the routes, especially the Apia-Auckland route."

Misa says the finance ministry has had to promise four major hotel developers that there'll be a choice of airlines flying into Samoa in order to foster competitive airfares.