FIJI'S Northern Air plans on expanding its fleet and increasing its services next year.
One of the airline's founders Ranjesh San said two of their aircrafts were on service but they were looking at investing in two more planes.
"We will expand our business and will expect to get two more planes by the middle of next year," Mr San said.
Northern Air Services Limited Charters Limited is a 100 per cent locally-owned airline.
He said his family saw an opportunity and vacuum in room for additional airline service to various sectors and stakeholders in neglected areas around Fiji.
"With our evolving business strategy, we want to provide positive support to the economic growth and services in neglected areas, especially to Savusavu, Taveuni, Gau, Moala and other outer islands by providing affordable and reliable services to various stakeholders," Mr San said.
Northern Air provides services to the tourism industry.
"The declining services in the industry and the growth in local travel gives an opportune time for making an investment in this industry," Mr San said. "Northern Air sees that economic growth is not the only reason to provide this service but the obligation to social rehabilitation for our own people, who are scattered over the Fiji group of islands, should be set as paramount."
However, getting a good and a qualified engineer is not easy.
"It is one of our challenges right now as we are trying to get a good engineer to get our new planes up next year," Mr San said.
"It's so hard to find one in Fiji and also to get one from overseas," he said, adding that securing the right engineer was vital for the company.
Mr San also said airports should be regulated regularly.
"We need improved airstrips in the islands. This is also one of our main challenges because of the cost of repairs and servicing."
The company employs 15 staff with few contractors.