3 Dec 2012

Hopes new chief executive can turn around ailing Marshall Islands airline

4:16 pm on 3 December 2012

The Marshall Islands government's national airline has named a board member as the new chief executive in the hope he can turn the ailing air carrier around.

The appointment of Jefferson Barton, a former secretary of finance and director of the government's planning office, comes as the airline goes through one of the most difficult periods in its more than 30-year history.

It currently has only one of two aircraft available for serving the country - and that plane, a Dornier 228, frequently needs various parts replaced.

The airline's other plane has been undergoing major maintenance in Australia since August and is not expected back until early next year.

Despite multi-million injections of government subsidies over the past three years, there has been little improvement in the airline's reliability.