SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, Dec. 29) - The future for Virgin Blue Airline operating from an international airport in Vanua Levu will be known early next year.

Labasa mayor Councilor Charan Jeath Singh is in Brisbane, Australia holding meetings with the airline executives.

Speaking to the FijiSUN yesterday afternoon from Brisbane, Cr Singh said he is playing everything close to his chest as he meets the airline’s hierarchy in the next couple of days. "It’s all in our plans and I’m playing things one at a time and put together a constructive piece of paper on the project.

"This I will be able to let the government and the people know once I get back to Fiji with all the necessary paper work done," said Cr Singh, who is a former Air Pacific pilot.

In an earlier interview Cr Singh revealed the council plans of establishing an international airport in Seaqaqa because of its central location and to work out a deal with Virgin Blue Airline to fly in using Vanua Levu as its entry point.

The purpose of the project was to boost the economy of Vanua Levu as the sugar industry is on the verge of collapsing. Cr Singh if the plan materialises then Savusavu would be promoted as a tourist destination while Labasa for industrial developments.

Also, farmers would benefit as their vegetables and fruits would be directly exported from there instead of through Viti Levu. 

"Even though I lost the by-election, I will continue to serve the people of Vanua Levu and work on from there."

Cr Singh is to fly on to Bali, Mauritius and Malaysia for business meetings on the development of Vanua Levu.

"The trip has come at a right timing for me to relax a bit, do some business meetings and political ones as well."

Meanwhile, Cr Singh said that even though he has lost the by- election he still has not lost his battle with Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

"I’ll be in the country on January 15 in time for the court case where I want to see Mr Chaudhry answer and prove all allegations he made against me in a paper that was distributed to the people during the by- election.

"It really tarnished my image and I’m not going to take this battle light heartedly because I have to protect myself from all these false allegations."

December 29, 2003



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