29 Nov 2010

Samoa's national carrier could lose half its staff if it loses ground handling contract

9:02 am on 29 November 2010

Samoa's national carrier, Polynesian Airlines, could lose half of its employees if it loses the ground handling service at Faleolo International Airport.

The Chief Executive Officer, Taua Fatu Tielu, told the Samoa Observer that this could affect up to 70 employees,

Late last year, Pacific Blue New Zealand, the manager of ground handling services for Polynesian Blue, voiced concerns about safety and tendered the job.

Polynesian put in a tender for the job.

Taua said the Samoa Airport Authority is now seeking Cabinet approval to go into a partnership with an Australian company to bid for the ground handling job for Polynesian Blue at Faleolo.

A Cabinet decision has been made but CEO for Cabinet, Vaosa Epa said discussions were still being held.

Polynesian's CEO said the airline gets 40% of its income from groundhandling services for Polynesian Blue, Air New Zealand and Air Pacific.

He said if they lose the contract 50% of their 145 employees could lose their jobs.