Grounded Air Fiji in debt to Fiji govt and banks

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Further details have emerged with regards to the financial predicament of grounded carrier Air Fiji.

A report in Fijian magazine Islands Business says the carrier owes the National Bank of Tuvulu F$700,000 ($324,000), the Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Authority F$679,000. the Fiji Development Bank F$370,000, Fiji National Provident Fund F$350,000 and R Patel lawyers F$65,000.

The report fails to cite where it got this information from. But it does quote the transport minister of Tuvulu, Taukelina Finikaso, as saying his government is seeking assistance from the Fijian Government to try and revive the airline.

The Tuvulu Government and China National Aero-Technology Import & Export (CATIC) are the airline's two major shareholders.

CATIC is a Chinese Government body responsible for marketing and selling Chinese-built aircraft overseas.

The report quotes an unidentified source as saying CATIC tried unsuccessfully to get the Fiji CAA to certify the Chinese-built Xian Aircraft MA60.

China has sold Harbin Y12s to Air Fiji and CATIC had been hoping to have Air Fiji operate MA60s.

Air Fiji shuttered its operations in late April.

Officials at Air Fiji were unavailable for comment today.