6 Jun 2005

Samoa opposition critical of government assistance for airline merger

3:26 pm on 6 June 2005

The leader of Samoa's opposition has criticised the government's decision to assist in the establishment of the joint venture between Polynesian Airlines and Virgin Blue.

In its just-released budget, the government has announced it will contribute 10-million US dollars to the start-up costs of Polynesian Blue, due to begin flights later this year.

But Le Mamea Ropati says the opposition doesn't see Virgin Blue as a favourable partner for Polynesian Airlines.

He says they were looking at either Air New Zealand or Qantas as a preferrable partner...

"The reason being that these airlines are well established in this part of the world and we would prefer Air New Zealand or Qantas, not Virgin Blue. We've got this feeling about this airline - it's not a Pacific airline, it's a European airline. I don't think that we can trust them."

Le Mamea Ropati