1 Feb 2005

Polynesian Airlines chief executive confirms takeover will mean jobs at risk

2:06 pm on 1 February 2005

Managers at Samoa's state airline have confirmed its 370 staff don't know how many of them will keep their jobs when Virgin Blue takes over jet operations this year.

One employee in the planning department of Polynesian Airlines said today that they, and others, were looking for another job.

Polynesian Blue, the new airline that will be formed, will be using the administration, handling, booking and engineering services of Virgin Blue.

The acting chief executive of Polynesian Airlines, Fatu Tielu, says there are talks with Virgin Blue on which staff will keep their jobs.

"There is a feeling of uncertainty among staff, but they've been told to continue working normally- work normally as though nothing's really happening, 'cos we don't know what the outcome of the negotiation's going to be."

Fatu Tielu says the government naturally wants Virgin Blue to start jet operations during the first half of the year.

Polynesian will restrict its operations to flying turbo-prop planes within the islands of Samoa, and to American Samoa and Tonga.