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Fiji Time: 4:34 AM on Thursday 21 August

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Flights on ice

Luke Rawalai
Tuesday, October 02, 2012

DOMESTIC carrier Pacific Sun has further cancelled its flights to Labasa up to tomorrow.

The airline expects to have another extensive inspection of the newly-upgraded runway before it decides to allow flights to the northern airport at Waiqele.

Pacific Sun general manager Shaenaz Voss said while the delayed re-opening of the airport in Labasa continued to have significant operational and financial impact on the airline, she reiterated that the safety of its customers, crew and the aircraft was an uncompromising priority.

"Like our customers, we are significantly disappointed by this delay in our ability to resume Labasa operations," Ms Voss said in a statement," she said.

"We cannot resume large commercial aircraft operations until the repaired runway meets international safety and operations standards.

"Pacific Sun will continue to run supplementary services into Savusavu from Suva and Nadi until Labasa Airport can resume ATR-42 and DH6 Otter operations.

"However, due to reduced seating capacity on Twin Otter aircraft and day time-only operations capability at Savusavu, all affected customers are requested to contact the airline's call centre on 3304388 to change or confirm travel arrangements," she added.

Ms Voss said following an extensive inspection and analysis of the Labasa Airport runway by New Zealand Civil Engineering Company Downer Ltd, Pacific Sun cancelled all flights to Labasa Airport.

This, she said, was done to allow time for Airports Fiji Limited (AFL) and others to assess the Downer Ltd Labasa Airport Inspection Report and determine actions and next steps that would allow resumption of large commercial aircraft operations.

AFL general manager Lawrence Liew said so far they had not received anything from either Pacific Sun nor the civil engineering report from New Zealand Civil Engineering Company Downer Ltd.

"However, AFL has received a report from Entec Engineering and Science Consultants stating that the runway was satisfactorily carried out," he said.

So far, Northern Air continues to provide airline services to Labasa once a day.


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