24 Dec 2004

Samoa chooses Virgin Blue for joint venture with Polynesian Airlines

10:50 am on 24 December 2004

The Samoan government has picked the Australian airline, Virgin Blue, as a joint venture partner for the national carrier, Polynesian Airlines.

This was announced by the finance minister, Misa Telefoni, following six months of discussions with Virgin Blue, Air New Zealand and Qantas.

Misa says if negotiations are succcessful, the new airline will start operations in the first half of next year, with Polynesian retaining ground handling and regional turbo-prop services.

He says the venture is aimed at boosting tourism.

Misa also says the move will stop the drain of funds to keep the airline afloat.