Don’t make same mistake

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Dear Editor,

Re: Govt. outlines financial centre, air traffic focus

I dread the day Polynesian Airlines flies again the international routes to Auckland and Sydney. 

P.M. appears to have a short memory when it comes to our beloved Poly. 

It wasn’t so long ago that Poly got split into two entities, one which housed the many thousands of dollars of debt (not sure whether this has been paid off) and the other which went into a profitable partnership with Virgin Australia. 

I think there is more to this story about Samoa wanting to get away from Virgin Australia and develop its own airline. 

This is a great venture in theory but the commercial reality is that a reconstituted Poly can never hope to match AirNZ or Virgin Blue in terms of fare structure and tourist packages.

If it wasn’t for the arrival of Virgin Blue, fares to and from Samoa wouldn’t have come down and the lower fares enabled me to visit my relatives in Australia and NZ.  Relatives I hadn’t seen in many years were able to visit home at last because they could afford the fares.

In the old days, AirNZ would charge high fare rates because the Auckland Apia route was (and still is) a captured market meaning that those wanting to travel to Auckland didn’t have many choices but pay the high fares charged by AirNZ. Read carefully what AirNZ says and you’d find the same old nonsense it parades whenever anybody asks why its fares remain high. Poly’s re-entry won’t change that explanation or fares. 

I know our P.M. and Bani don’t get on but why not investigate a package between Air Fiji and Samoa where tourists have access to packages covering Fiji and Samoa. In other words we would ride on the coattails of the Fiji tourist successes.

Wouldn’t that be better than re-living the good old days where I understand many government officials flew on our beloved Poly for next to nothing. Perhaps this is what our P.M. wants for us again, the promotion of local government tourists.

Vai Autu

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