Government cannot continue to guarantee Fiji Airways loans if it is not operational

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Government cannot continue to guarantee Fiji Airways loans if it is not operational – Gavoka

Head of SODELPA, Viliame Gavoka. [Image: Parliament of Fiji]

SODELPA chief Viliame Gavoka said they could not continue to guarantee loans to Fiji Airways if it was not operational as reports from the UK and Singapore indicate COVID-19 is uncontrollable again.

While speaking against the motion asking parliament to provide a guarantee on Fiji Airways loans, Gavoka said if things got worse again and the borders were done, what do we have to keep the company going? national air force operational.

Gavoka says that if nothing has happened to Fiji Airways in terms of revenue to allow it to service its debt, they will be asked to guarantee more debt than it has today.

He says it depends on the ability of the national airline to start generating revenue immediately.

Gavoka adds that the government must involve people from all walks of life, including the opposition, about the limit of the collateral they can give, as they will be debating another loan to be guaranteed next year.

Parliament approved the increased government guarantee on Fiji Airways borrowings by increasing the existing approved local guarantee from FJ $ 191.1 million to FJ $ 241.1 million and the offshore borrowings from US $ 117.1 million to US $ 142.1 million, with the total guarantee limit rising from FJ $ 455 million to FJ $ 561.4 million valid until the secured facilities are released or fully settled; and that Fiji Airways be exempt from paying a guarantee fee.

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