POLYNESIAN AIRLINES NOT BROKE, SAYS PM TUILAEPA

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By Mathew F. Lemisio

APIA, Samoa (February 22, 2001 - Samoa Observer/PINA Nius Online)---While flag carrier Polynesian Airlines cannot seem to be able to fill empty seats in its Boeing 737-800 on flights to Honolulu, Prime Minister Tuilaepa announced:

"Polynesian Airlines is not broke. It’s broke to those who are willing to make the company broke."

The remarks came after the PM delivered the official issues of the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) General Elections Manifesto yesterday.

Also, according to Tuilaepa, the government will do everything it can to improve the management of the airline.

There’s also a plan to sell the Boeing 737-300 before another new Boeing 737 arrives later on this year.

Two senior officers were apparently given marching orders from management but reasons for doing so have not been made public.

Opposition Leader Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese told the Samoa Observer last week that the airline "is broke and the public is sweating to pay for this loss through VAGST."

The government makes available $10 million in its annual budget to pay for an existing debt, now said to be about $125 million.

This debt was incurred by the previous management.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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