Connecting the north and south Pacific is crucial for regional unity, said Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Penny Wong of the launch of a flight service between Australia and Palau in February 2023.
The Australian government is underwriting flight services between Australia and Palau as part of its Pacific Flight Program. The support extended to the private sector covers the initial phase of the service.
Working with Air Nuigini to connect Australia via Papua New Guinea, the flights will provide a shorter connection between Australia and Palau.
Currently traveling from Australia to Palau requires almost 2 days of travel time. As an example, the routes usually leave Australia to Hawai to Guam to Palau. Or departing Australia to the Philippines or Korea to Palau, which would take up to over 24 hours of travel time.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong, said Australia is not of the same market size as the United States, but it can help to establish connectivity and open up the channels. The establishment of the flights supports the economic recovery of the region as well.
Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr. said, “it’s about connecting the north and the south. … having those flights, …they’re going to allow us to connect the North and South Pacific. And we’re excited about that opportunity to increase the people-to-people exchanges because that’s really what builds cooperation and collaboration.”
The flights are scheduled flights and can be booked online.