16 Feb 2005

Vanuatu government sets up inquiry into national flag carrier

11:17 am on 16 February 2005

The government in Vanuatu has set up a commission of inquiry into the running of its national airline.

A spokesman for the government, Patrick Crowby, says the Prime Minister, Ham Lini, has ordered an inquiry into Air Vanuatu with a view to restructuring the company.

"It was appointed to see the running of the airline and management of the former board and why the government didn't receive a grant from the airline, and also to restructure the company."

However Mr Crowby says that Mr Lini has delayed the start of the inquiry while the airline's board of directors carry out their own internal investigation into operations.

Meanwhile he says a commission of inquiry into the financial problems facing the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Telelvison Corporation has been deferred.

Mr Crowby says the matter is not a priority and is unlikely to be investigated for another month.