Tuvalu News

Tuvalu Government Releases Airline Business Bid Details

FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (April 20, 2001 Radio Australia)---The government of Tuvalu has released details of its bid to enter the international airline business.

As Radio Australia correspondent Sean Dorney reports, Finance Minister Lagitupu Tuilimu outlined Tuvalu's bid for a controlling interest in Air Fiji during his budget speech to Parliament.

"Minister Tuilimu said the offer for a controlling interest in Air Fiji included the equivalent of about two million dollars worth of shares and more than four million dollars in loan guarantees.

"He told Parliament the decision to invest in Air Fiji was taken last December after a thorough assessment of Air Fiji's financial, operational and management structures.

"He said the investment would safeguard Tuvalu's access to a reliable, regular and affordable air service.

"The investment will be financed through a loan from the National Bank of Tuvalu.

"Earlier, in a State of the Nation address to Parliament, Tuvalu's Governor General, Sir Tomasi Puapua, said buying into Air Fiji would allow the government to gain experience in the operations and management of an international airline.

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