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Tuvalu landowners block airport over lease non-payment

July 2, 2019 8:30 am
Funafuti Airport Terminal in Tuvalu

Fiji Airways was forced to cancel its flight to Tuvalu on Saturday after a dispute between landowners and government over land lease payments led to a blockade of the international airport.

Fiji Airways was forced to cancel its flight to Tuvalu on Saturday after a dispute between landowners and government over land lease payments led to a blockade of the international airport.

Funafuti Airport Terminal in Tuvalu Funafuti Airport Terminal in Tuvalu Photo: Tuvalu Government Media
Radio Tuvalu News said the passengers on the flight were stranded in Nausori in Va.

A senior Fiji Airways official told the radio station the airline canceled its flight because it was too risky to try and land.

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Two large trucks were parked on the runway.

A spokesperson for the landowners, Semi Vine, said the landowners of Funafuti want to take their land back because the government has failed to sign a new lease deal last week.

The secretary to the government, Tine Leuelu, said the matter was resolved and the trucks were removed by Saturday evening.

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