12 Jun 2007

Fiji's Air Pacific sees sharp drop in profits

11:56 am on 12 June 2007

Fiji's national airline, Air Pacific, recorded a sharp drop in profits for the financial year ending on March the 31st.

The airline made a pre-tax profit of only 4.7 million US dollars, down by 64 percent from the previous year's 13.1 million US dollars.

Air Pacific's chairman, Nalin Patel, says tourism inflows into Fiji are airline's primary source of income.

He says this was adversely affected by uncertainty over the introduction of the Hotel Turnover Tax, negative reporting of Fiji's instability in the lead up to the May general election last year, and the military takeover in December.

Mr Patel says negative travel advisories issues by Australia and New Zealand after December reduced tourist inflow, and high fuel prices and deeply discounted air fares all impacted on the reduced profits.