21 Oct 2005

Nearly 200 Polynesian Airlines staff to lose jobs within weeks

10:30 am on 21 October 2005

Nearly 200 Polynesian Airlines employees will have lost their jobs by early next month when the merger between the Samoa carrier and Virgin Blue takes effect.

The airline is cutting its workforce from 393 to 195 and many of the management employees will be terminated.

The new airline Polynesian Blue which will take over Polynesian's jet flights will begin service on October 30th.

Polynesian CEO Malopaia John Fitzgerald says the government of Samoa has paid redundancy packages to about 113 employees so far, but more will be released in the coming months.

This would include four of the eight member management team at Polynesian's head office in Apia, and nine senior employees.

Polynesian will close its offices in Sydney, Auckland and Wellington, at the end of this month.