1 Feb 2005

Polynesian staff based at headquarters in Samoa uncertain about jobs

8:25 am on 1 February 2005

Polynesian Airlines staff at the airline's headquarters in Apia, have begun searching for jobs uncertain about their future when Virgin Blue takes over international services.

Polynesian's CEO, Malopaia John Fitzgerald, told the Samoa Observer that morale is low but staff continue to work with professionalism and dedication.

Polynesian Blue, the new airline that will be formed when Virgin Blue takes over Polynesian, is aiming to boost tourism through cut price air fares and to end the airline's reliance on public funds.

Polynesian Airlines will continue to operate domestic and regional turbo prop services such as those between the Samoas.

It will also provide ground handling and other services for Polynesian Blue in Samoa.

But a substantial number of Polynesian staff are expected to lose their jobs, since Polynesian Blue will be using administration, handling, booking and engineering services of Virgin Blue and its New Zealand offshoot Pacific Blue .