FIJI COURT BARS AIR PACIFIC FROM DOMESTIC ROUTES

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, June 10) – Fiji’s international airline, Air Pacific is expected to mount an appeal against a High Court of Fiji judgment preventing the company from entering into domestic aviation in Fiji, directly or indirectly.

"Air Pacific will need to receive and study the written judgment carefully but initial reactions are that we expect to mount an appeal against this judgment in the Court of Appeal at the earliest opportunity," the company said in a statement.

Air Pacific established a subsidiary company, Fiji Airlines Limited and reached an agreement to take over the business, assets and liabilities of domestic airline company, Sun Air to commence domestic air services from July 1, 2006, subject to the grant of licences by the Air Transport Licensing Board.

Rival domestic airline company, Air Fiji opposed the proposed entry into the domestic aviation market by Air Pacific or its subsidiary and mounted a court action to seek to restrain Air Pacific from implementing its plans.

The High Court of Fiji heard the application from Air Fiji on Friday, and granted an order to prevent Air Pacific from entering into domestic aviation in Fiji, directly or indirectly.

Air Pacific says that assuming the airline is successful in its application to the Court of Appeal there will inevitably be a delay in the commencement of domestic operations somewhere to the order of three months.

"Air Pacific and Fiji Airlines are naturally disappointed with the decision handed down but remain confident that in the longer term their plans will be materialised."

June 12, 2006

Fijilive: www.fijilive.com

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