23 May 2005

Air Nauru hopes for settlement to keep its only plane

1:23 pm on 23 May 2005

Air Nauru says it's confident that the case over leasing arrangements for the airline's single 737-jet will be settled out of court.

An Australian court earlier ruled the airline owed about 13-million US dollars in overdue lease payments, and gave the US Exim Bank the right to repossess the plane.

The owner of the plane is the Nauru Air Corporation, an agency of the Nauru government.

The Commercial General Manager for Air Nauru, John Goulding, says they plan to lodge papers relating to an appeal on June 3rd.

He says while Nauru can't afford to repay the debt, there are confidential parties who want to assist.

"We have advanced quite considerable within the last fortnight with discussions with other parties who are quite prepared to come in and assist Air Nauru , provide new capital and investment, to keep this airline going."

Mr Goulding says he wants to reassure passengers that flights to all sectors will continue.

Air Nauru currently provides air services in the Central Pacific flying from Australia to Solomon Islands, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and Fiji.