AIR MARSHALL ISLANDS TO LEASE PLANE TO AIR VANUATU

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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (April 21, 1998 - Radio Australia/PACNEWS)---Air Marshall Islands says it is about to reach an agreement to lease its SAAB 2000 aircraft to Air Vanuatu.

The lease would be a long-term arrangement, which would generate much-needed revenue for Air Marshall Islands.

The airline has been operating the 50-seat aircraft for almost three years, but a series of breakdowns has reduced profitability.

Air Vanuatu says it would use the aircraft on services to Fiji and New Caledonia.

Meantime, Air Vanuatu's new Boeing 737-300 plane is due in Port Vila on Friday. It is schedule to make its first official flight, to Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday.

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