16 Jan 2015

Fiji Airways says ASPA needs to be 'neutral'

7:02 am on 16 January 2015

Fiji Airways says it does not plan to rejoin the Association of South Pacific Airlines, or ASPA, until there is a change of leadership.

Stefan Pichler

Stefan Pichler Photo: Supplied

The airline has withdrawn its membership over what it calls strongly biased public announcements made by the association.

The comments relate to an air service impasse between Fiji and Solomon Islands which was resolved this week.

Fiji Airways' chief executive, Stefan Pichler, says the General Secretary of ASPA, George Faktaufon, appears to blame Fiji for the impasse.

"The Secretary of South Pacific Airlines has made biased comments about the ASA [Air Service Agreement] and the resolution of the impasse between the countries of Fiji and Solomon Islands and we think the position of the ASPA should be a neutral one."

The impasse started after Fiji, responding to Solomon Islands rejecting its request for an additional flight into Honiara, cancelled all Solomon Airlines flights to Nadi, following which Solomon Airlines promptly cancelled all flights from Fiji.