3 Jul 2013

Fiji politicians want answers on Fiji Airways issues

3:01 pm on 3 July 2013

The Fiji political grouping, the United Front for a Democratic Fiji, says Fiji Airways and the government are avoiding answering serious questions about the operation and commission of the national carrier's new Airbuses.

A Front member and leader of the Fiji Labour Party, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the way the three Airbuses were purchased was not transparent.

He says there was a sudden and unexplained switch from Boeing aircraft, and he believes commissions were paid by Airbus.

"We have questioned the government to come out clean and inform the people of Fiji why this is happening, what happened to the commission, why the aircraft type was switched from Boeing to Airbus. And then to top it all off, the CEO who did all of this, David Pflieger, he disappeared soon after the first aircraft arrived. We want to know why did he leave?"

Mahendra Chaudhry says Fiji Airways flights are being cancelled due to a shortage of trained crew.

He says once the airline's aircraft replacement programme is completed, its total seat capacity will be reduced by 174.

He says the operational issues are having an impact on the reputation of the airline, and will eventually affect Fiji's tourism industry.