NEWS

Fiji Airways, And the New Fiji

Fiji Airways will soon announce its highest profits ever. The Opposition just can’t stomach that. They prefer to return to an archaic arrangement where the national airline was shackled by
13 Feb 2015 12:15
Fiji Airways, And the New Fiji
Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, Public Enterprises, Public Service and Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Photo: Jona Konataci

Fiji Airways will soon announce its highest profits ever. The Opposition just can’t stomach that. They prefer to return to an archaic arrangement where the national airline was shackled by Qantas, who just a few years ago controlled 46 per cent of our national airline but had majoritan rights.

This meant that although they were minority shareholders, they acted like majority shareholders and held veto powers for votes at board level and in 19 key operational areas. In other words, Qantas, then, could dictate which routes the carrier could operate on and even control appointments among other issues.

Yesterday’s ministerial statement by the Attorney-General, Minister for Finance, Public Service and Public Enterprise was a cruel lesson in history for the Opposition.

We will give credit where it is due. Qantas rescued Air Pacific from the doldrums. Well, sort of. However, Qantas took more than they deserved.

It took the initiative of the Voreqe Bainimarama Government to rectify the grave injustice inflicted upon the Fijian people. Under the the Civil Aviation (Ownership and Control of National Airlines) Decree 2012. proportionate control of the airline was given to Qantas. In other words, it now acts like the minority shareholder it is, no more than that.

The reality now is that Qantas still owns 46 per cent of Fiji Airways albeit with reduced operational control. That’s the way it should be.

If the Attorney-General sounded frustrated yesterday, it was for a good reason. Not only is our national airline planning to announce its biggest profit ever, it is expanding its routes to the Chinese mainland with its Shanghai charter services in partnership with Rosie Holidays from this month. There’s the new direct routes to Honiara and Wellington. And continuing fleet upgrades.

Airports Fiji Limited has forecasted massive after-tax profits of $33 million this year and a predicted $46 million in 2016.  The pathetic Opposition response yesterday to all of these announcements was to describe them as ‘squeezing’ from the Fijian people. Perhaps, in a manner of speaking, this could be true. The Bainimarama Government is responsible for this ‘squeezing’ culture and ethos.

It has squeezed inefficiency, loss-making, lack of productivity, corruption and racism out of all our institutions in Fiji.

No wonder then the Attorney-General shudders at a reversal of the status quo, with the Opposition in charge of the economic affairs of our beloved Fiji. This would surely see a return to the bloated and inefficient bureaucracy that was Air Pacific. It would see a return to institutionalised corruption and racism.

Fiji Airways and Airports Fiji Limited are a sign of things to come. No matter what the Opposition thinks, things can only get better, the way they were meant to be.

Feedback:  josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 




Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: