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Majuro, Marshall Islands (April 14, 2000 – Marshall Islands Journal)—Former Air Marshall Islands General Manager Randy Hanna will be returning to manage the national airline.

"We’ve gone to someone (Hanna) who has proved he can do the job," said Jerry Kramer, the acting chairman of the AMI board’s executive committee. "The two quarters that he managed the airline he turned a profit. He was one of the best, if not the best manager."

Kramer said that Hanna, as manager more than two years ago, had taken the initiative of basing fuel for AMI planes at Bikini.

He also did feasibility studies on smaller planes that could be used to supplement the Dornier 228s servicing the outer islands.

Among other actions taken by AMI’s new board:

Kramer said evaluation of service, new planes, and staff must start with the very simple AMI mission statement: "AMI’s purpose is to provide reliable, safe, efficient air service to the people of the Marshall Islands at reasonable cost."

He said the company will decide in the next several weeks whether to increase international service and move forward with purchase of the $30 million Dornier 328 deal.

Kramer said that the board is searching for additional, smaller and less costly planes to complement the present Dornier 328s in order to improve domestic service.

"Obviously our service is inadequate for the people of the Marshall Islands," he admitted. "The goal is to make the airline more efficient so that it can operate at a profit and end the need for government subsidies."

Kramer said despite the company’s financial woes, "AMI has a perfect safety record."

"There’s been no compromise with safety, and the staff deserve credit for this," he said. "The board can’t over-emphasize how important this adherence to safety regulations is."

Kramer also said that during the past year, his company - PII - had begun actively looking at starting private air service in the Marshalls. But now that AMI has changed direction, he said PII is no longer looking at starting its own air service.

The Marshall Islands Journal, Box 14, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960 E-mail: m Subscriptions (weekly): 1 year US $87.00; international $213.00 (air mail).

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