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National Kiribati Airline May Renew Dropped Regional Flights
Improved domestic service needed first, says CEO

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (The Kiribati Independent, Nov. 5, 2012) – Kiribati's national airline, Air Kiribati Limited is now exploring options to revive the sub regional flights to service routes between Kiribati, Fiji, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu.

Chief Executive Officer of Air Kiribati, Captain Iosabata Namakin told Kiribati Independent correspondent in Tarawa that one of the alternatives is to purchase a medium-sized aircraft to provide this service.

Iosabata says before the airline can re-engage in regional services, it must improve its domestic air services.

This is being done with the first purchase of a Twin Otter from CAAMS of USA. "We expect that improvement works on our domestic air services through the replacement of fleets will be completed in the middle of next year," Iosabata adds.

CEO also revealed that once upgrading is completed the airline will concentrate then on paper works on purchasing the new aircraft for international air service and ways to compete with Fiji’s Air Pacific.

He says the airline is now looking for a suitable aircraft, which is as big as Air Pacific’s Boeing 737 to enable customers to choose Air Kiribati as the best airline to service flights between Kiribati and the neighboring Pacific islands.

Government’s plan to re-commence international air services was first revealed by the Minister of Transport, Taberannang Timeon during the last parliament meeting.

Previously, Kiribati partnered with Nauru on Our Airline providing air service between Kiribati, Nauru and Fiji. The airline is no longer servicing routes to Fiji leaving Kiribati with only one airline, Air Pacific.

The Kiribati government would like to compete with Air Pacific under its current plan following the closure of Our Airline’s flight to Fiji early this year, and failure of negotiations between the two sides.

The Kiribati Independent
Copyright 2012 The Kiribati Independent. All Rights Reserved

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