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Fiji alarm over Qantas plan to increase flights

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has expressed his alarm to Scott Morrison about Qantas' bid to increase the number of direct flights to Fiji, hard on the heels of the Pacific Island's national flag carrier warning it would hurt its economy.

Bainimarama raised Qantas' move during bilateral talks in Canberra on Monday, as he also made a pointed reference to differences between the two countries taking some effort to resolve following last month's fiery Pacific Islands Forum meeting, where Morrison was left isolated on climate change.

During their talks, the leaders spoke about climate policies, Australia's $2 billion (US$1.3 billion) infrastructure fund for the region and labour mobility.

They also discussed the impact Qantas' bid to lift the number of direct flights to Fiji to daily over the Christmas holidays would have on Fiji Airways. Qantas holds a 46 per cent stake in Fiji Airways but the Fijian government is the majority owner with 52 per cent.

Fiji Airways chief Andre Viljoen claimed on the weekend the extra capacity risked damaging Fiji's national carrier and its ability to service the Pacific....

SOURCE: FINANCIAL REVIEW/PACNEWS

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