14 Dec 2006

Nauru airline seeks regional joint ownership

3:43 pm on 14 December 2006

The chief executive of Nauru's Our Airline says a proposal for a group of regional countries to jointly own the airline company is driven by the prospect of sharing costs and ensuring air links.

Geoff Bowmaker says there has been an initial discussion between the small island states of Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Nauru.

Solomon Islands has also been invited to participate because of its geographical location and similar needs.

Mr Bowmaker says the proposal came about because of the cost each country would face in attempting to run its own airline.

"Lets have a look at a model or a way that we can join together and reap the benefits of economies of scale and the pooling of resources that I think all of us believe will lead to a lower cost base for running a minimum of air transportation requirements."

Mr Bowmaker says each of the countries now need to come up with a list of requirements to make it work.

Nauru's Transport Minister, Kieren Keke, says if the venture goes ahead, he hopes each country will own an equal share in return for landing rights.