5 Oct 2007

Marshalls dive business suffers after airline woes

4:21 pm on 5 October 2007

Diving businesses in the Marshall Islands say problems with the domestic air service have led to huge losses.

Jack Niedenthal of Bikini Atoll Dive says the grounding of all Air Marshall Islands planes in August prompted cancellations amounting to a loss of about 100,000 US dollars.

The grounding forced a group of Australian, American and European divers at Bikini to be evacuated by the country's marine patrol vessel.

While the airline resumed service in September, Bikini Dive suffered numerous cancellations when news of the stranded divers spread.

Bikini is a high-profile dive site, with a fleet of World War II-era American and Japanese naval vessels on the lagoon floor.