23 Sep 2011

Marshalls Chamber of Commerce welcomes airline privatisation plan

11:26 am on 23 September 2011

The Chamber of Commerce in the Marshall Islands says a plan to give the private sector majority control of the government-run national carrier is welcome news.

The board of directors of Air Marshall Islands, has endorsed a plan to sell a 51 percent stake to the private sector and is working on a formal proposal to present to Cabinet.

The Chamber of Commerce President Stephen Phillips says it has observed the airline's financial woes for more than two decades and has lobbied the government for many years to make improvements to the airline including suggestions to privatise it.

"In one aspect that we looked at is that because of the government is heavily on the side of the airline and we want the airline to have a more eased from the government making decisions as far as the airline should be making their own sound decisions on a business aspect rather than more on a political side."

Stephen Phillips says he believes privatising the airline will ensure it begins to profit.