17 Oct 2005

Polynesian Blue says merger prompts lay-off of administration staff

4:24 pm on 17 October 2005

The Chief Executive of Pacific Blue airline, Tony Marks, says it is mostly administration staff who have been laid off as the new air carrier, Polynesian Blue, prepares for its first flights.

Polynesian Blue is a joint venture between Polynesian Airlines and Virgin's Pacific Blue which will be launched on October the 30th.

Mr Marks says the government of Samoa accepted that some jobs had to go to ensure an improved service.

He says Pacific Blue has retained many of the key staff.

"We've taken on all the pilots who were flying for the airline who wanted to continue to fly to and from Samoa, 14 of them. Just under half of the cabin crew who applied for roles - we've taken about 60 to 70 percent of them - I think 13 to 14 cabin crew who used to be employed by Polynesian airlines joining us."

Tony Marks says Polynesian Blue will use a 737-800 aircraft and launch low fares on the Auckland-Apia route.