27 Jul 2006

Fiji airlines plans to operate regional flights

8:58 am on 27 July 2006

Fiji Airlines Limited is going ahead with plans to operate regional flights while fighting a legal challenge to its bid to fly locally.

The airline's chief executive, John Campbell, told Fiji Times that the airline has taken delivery of the first of two aircraft to service regional routes.

Mr Campbell says the ATR42-500 would fly to destinations such as Tonga and Vanuatu.

"He says an application for an air operating certificate (AOC) was about to be submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority."

Mr Campbell says it would be five or six weeks before the certificate was granted.

The airline would begin the regional service as soon as it had the licence.

Fiji Airlines, which is the domestic arm of the national carrier Air Pacific, has advertised for the positions of pilot, chief pilot and chief engineer.

Meanwhile, the High Court has issued a stay order on plans by Fiji Airways Ltd, the domestic arm of Air Pacific, to begin domestic services.

The order was in response to an application by local airline Air Fiji.