JOBS CONTINUE TO BE CUT AS NIUE AIR LINK PROBLEMS CONTINUE

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ALOFI, Niue (April 29, 2001 -- Niue Economic Review/PINA Nius Online)---Several more businesses on Niue have been forced to reduce staff working hours as the country's air services crisis continues.

The lack of scheduled air services to the island has shut down the tourism industry and is hampering the delivery of parts, mail and equipment.

There has been a dramatic downturn in the economy with service firms reporting reduced cash turnovers.

The tourist infrastructure is suffering with the resort hotel, motels and guesthouses shutting down along with restaurants and cafes.

Niue has been without scheduled air services for six weeks following financial and certification problems at Royal Tongan Airlines. These difficulties led to Royal Tongan ending its Auckland-Niue-Auckland jet flight, which was vital for tourism, and suspending its Nuku'alofa-Niue-Nuku'alofa scheduled turboprop flight.

Air Fiji has maintained links with its 30-seat Brasilia, operating charter flights from Tonga.

Niue officials and an aviation consultant have been engaged in talks with Royal Tongan and Air Rarotonga about reestablishing scheduled services.

For additional reports from the Niue Economic Review, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Magazines/Journals/Niue Economic Review.

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

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