30 May 2005

Concern in Niue over Polynesian Blue airline's plans

1:01 pm on 30 May 2005

There is concern for the tourism industry in Niue over the impact from the new joint venture, Samoa-based Polynesian Blue which begins on September the 1st.

The Niue.news website reports that the government is concerned the merger will result in Niue losing direct flights to and from Auckland.

Premier Young Vivian has been in Samoa attempting to persuade the airline officials that a feeder service to and from Niue out of Apia will cause irreparable damage to the island's tourists traffic.

Mr Vivian is hopeful of a positive resolution, although the new partner in the venture, Virgin Blue, does not consider the Niue run economical enough to send a big plane across.

Tourist operators on Niue are keen to have the airline services settled as quickly as possible.

Consultants are working on a strategic plan for the industry which has been devastated by Cyclone Heta and any major changes to airline services will ultimately effect new accommodation and tourist services planned for the next five years.