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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Air Pacific Route ‘Monopoly’ Too Expensive For Kiribati
Transport minister says fares have skyrocketed

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 22, 2012) – Kiribati’s Minister for Transport Taberannang Timeon says the monopoly that Fiji’s Air Pacific has on key routes in the region has made some international flights unaffordable for i-Kiribati.

In September last year, the Fiji interim government suddenly suspended Air Kiribati’s flight between Nadi and Tarawa, which was operated by Nauru’s national carrier Our Airline.

Mr. Timeon says Fiji has since said the Air Services Agreement did not contain a leasing arrangement clause.

He says there is an increasing level of urgency in Kiribati to reach some agreement with Fiji to resume that flight, because the only choice now is Air Pacific’s flight.

"’Their fares as I told you have skyrocketed and most people cannot afford that because Air Pacific monopolizes that route now. We’ve voiced our concerns to the Fiji government, through the interim government, they know our problem, it’s affecting our seasonal workers in New Zealand because their fares are so high."

Taberannang Timeon says Kiribati has asked to meet the interim government to try and solve the issue but it hasn’t replied yet.

Radio New Zealand International:
Copyright 2012 RNZI. All Rights Reserved

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