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Call for dispute resolution

Repeka Nasiko
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

ANOTHER regional group has called for a resolution to the flight dispute between national airline Fiji Airways and Solomon Airlines.

Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation CEO Mereia Volavola said a number of private sectors in the Solomon Islands had been affected by the suspension of flights to Honiara and Nadi.

"A number of private sectors have spoken out particularly those in the Solomon Islands because they do business here in Fiji and this is affecting their business," she said.

"Now they have to fly to either New Zealand or Australia which means extra costs for them so I hope some good sense will prevail and the two authorities from the two countries can work it out and iron out their differences because these suspensions are affecting a lot of people."

Last week, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation also called for dialogue between the two nations.

SPTO CEO Ilisoni Vuidreketi said the situation had a direct impact on tourism and trade related industries.

Mr Vuidreketi said the tourism industry was heavily reliant on a well-established air transport sector and it was unfortunate that the whole situation had escalated.

"We respect the sovereignty of both nations on the Air Services Agreement but we are pleading for both parties to come to the bargaining table," he said.

"However, such internal regional airline issues will only slow down our efforts towards this end."

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