15 Jan 2015

Fiji Airways withdraws from regional body

4:24 pm on 15 January 2015

Fiji Airways has withdrawn its membership from the Association of South Pacific Airlines (ASPA) over comments made during the impasse with Solomon Islands over flights.

Stefan Pichler

Fiji Airways CEO, Stefan Pichler. Photo: Supplied

Fiji Airways says the decision was made in light of recent strongly biased public announcements made by ASPA.

The comments relate to the recent issues of air travel services between Fiji and the Solomon Islands which were resolved this week.

Fiji Airways says the General Secretary of ASPA George Faktaufon appeared to blame Fiji for the impasse in direct contravention of the facts of the dispute.

The airline says a lack of professionalism was also demonstrated when Mr Faktaufon wrote an email about the Managing Director of Fiji Airways in which he said ASPA would quote: "not bow down to foreigners".

Fiji Airways has expressed its concerns to ASPA and urges it to remain neutral and follow its mandate of capacity building and cooperation of South Pacific airlines.

The company says the negotiation of Air Services Agreements is between governments and not airlines.

Fiji Airways will not seek to regain its membership into ASPA unless there is a change in their leadership and in the public handling of issues.