10 May 2004

Samoan government to provide extra funds for Polynesian Airlines

11:00 am on 10 May 2004

The Samoan government is to prop up Polynesian Airlines, with more funds for the state airline earmarked in this year's budget.

The finance minister, Misa Telefoni, says the government has known since the beginning of the year that it would have to find more money for the national carrier.

Last month, Polynesian's chief executive, John Fitzgerald, said the company was not making a secret of the fact it wasn't making a profit.

The government insists that keeping Polynesian afloat results in beneficial spin-offs to the overall economy, especially the tourism industry.

But some in the Opposition point to the Cook Islands which has a successful tourism industry, without owning an airline.