Motion to enquire overall viability of Fiji Airways rejected
September 4, 2020 6:21 am
A motion to establish a special committee to enquire into the financial state and overall viability of Fiji Airways was rejected by parliament.
The motion was moved by Opposition MP Ro Filipe Tuisawau who said the exercise will clarify misconceptions about the airline.
National Federation Party Leader Biman Prasad while supporting the motion recommended that Fiji Airways should work closely with its major shareholder Qantas.
“What the government needs to understand is that Fiji Airways is small. I think Fiji Airways more than ever needs Qantas now. Qantas does not need Fiji Airways. I mean if they own 46 percent of the company, and Qantas is a huge airline, we need to work with them.”
However, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama rejected Prasad’s recommendation.
“Honorable Biman Prasad has no idea of what transpired in 2012. He thinks he knows but he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know that Qantas had Fiji Airways by the throat, by the neck. They had the veto power. We couldn’t buy any place, we couldn’t fly anywhere without Qantas saying ‘yes’. Does that make sense to you (Biman Prasad)?”
Bainimarama further said the Opposition members are looking for new pockets of votes with this move.
“They think Fiji Airways former staff are where they will get their votes from. They aren’t really being honest, they aren’t being genuine. If they were, they would have raised this issue when he presented the guarantee.”
While questioning the purpose of the special committee, Bainimarama also stated that Fiji Airways’ financial results are transparently published for anyone to read.