14 Aug 2007

Air Vanuatu to be partly sold off

3:14 pm on 14 August 2007

A subsidiary of the World Bank, the IFC, is to help the Vanuatu government sell off part of its national airline, Air Vanuatu.

The government has decided to sell a minority share in the airline as part of its strategy to improve air services.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Edward Natapei, says private sector participation should help increase investments, lower prices and improve services.

He says air transport links are critical to the success of other industries, such as tourism and high-value exports, while private sector investment is needed to boost services, create jobs and generate economic growth.

The IFC's Director of Advisory Services, Bernie Sheahan, says they hope to replicate their success in the establishment of Samoa's Polynesian Blue two years ago.

He says the new project provides an opportunity for Vanuatu to establish a sustainable framework for private sector participation in the aviation sector.