By Apisalome Movono* of
With Samoa fully reopening its borders on 1 August, another Pacific country moved tentatively forwards after two years of border closures and little or no international tourism.
But opening up is not as simple as flipping a switch, given the many challenges facing Pacific aviation. Rising fuel costs, mounting debt, management issues and a shortage of pilots have all plagued the industry in the region.
Climate change adds to these problems. Tourism aside, small island nations with very small economies, spread across a vast expanse of ocean, depend on high carbon-emitting air transport for health, trade and family connections.
These days, most Pacific national airlines are being kept afloat by government loans and guarantees – and in Fiji’s case, workers’ pension funds. With Pacific Forum economic ministers meeting in Vanuatu from today, all these issues should be high on the agenda.
Pacific Islands Forum sur Twitter : “”Our Leaders have given us the blueprint. It is now up to us to develop innovative and home-grown solutions that are contextualized to our needs and priorities. “- Forum Deputy Manoni to Forum economic officials ahead of this week’s #FEMM2022 More at https://t.co/qPnjzyJHnP https://t.co/RQRtsROgua” / Twitter