28 Mar 2012

Fiji Government takes control of national carrier

9:24 pm on 28 March 2012

The interim Fiji Government has issued a decree giving it full control of the national carrier Air Pacific, which is nearly 47% owned by Qantas.

Fiji already owns a majority stake in the airline but the attorney-general and minister for civil aviation says despite that Qantas has maintained effective control since 1998.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says in a statement this gave Qantas veto power over most areas of Air Pacific's operations.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says the decree simply addresses control requirements.

He says it will not affect the ownership of Qantas shares and does not amount to a nationalisation of the airline.

His statement says the Bainimarama Government has now corrected the activities of earlier Fiji governments that allowed foreign citizens to control Fiji's national airline.