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Cites deteriorating runway

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Aug. 30, 2008) – Fiji national airline Air Pacific will suspend its flights to Christmas Island next week because of a deteriorating runway which the company believes may compromise the safety of its passengers.

Air Pacific chief executive officer and managing director John Campbell said the decision was regrettable, particularly when Air Pacific was the only air service to the island.

Mr Campbell, in a statement, said Air Pacific operational personnel and specialist runway engineers from New Zealand had inspected the runway before the decision was made.

"Air Pacific will maintain close communication with the Government of Kiribati on progress towards the necessary resurfacing and stands ready to provide support and advice should this be required," said Mr Campbell.

The Nadi-Christmas Island-Honolulu route was operated under a quasi charter arrangement for the Government of Kiribati by Air Pacific since October 2005.

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