2 Mar 2004

Fiji administration denies that it delayed the approval of a charter air service from NZ

3:43 pm on 2 March 2004

Fiji's Director for Civil Aviation, Karam Chandra , says the government is not to blame for delays a in charter flight service starting up from New Zealand.

The travel company, Flight Centre, says it has been forced to withdraw cheap holiday offers to Fiji, because the Fiji government hasn't given its charter company partners permission to operate.

But the Director of Civil Aviation in Fiji, Karam Chandra, says the delay has been in getting documentation from New Zealand:

"That was the main reason it has taken so long. The application was not completed and we had been reminding them of that every time they inquired. So it is an unfair comment that Fiji government delayed the whole process."

Mr Chandra says unless he is told otherwise the application will be processed and could be approved next week.

Flight Centre says even then it will be too late to reinstate the package holidays as too much of the main season will have been lost.