Alii Palau Airlines inaugurates maiden flight; Unveiling new gateway to Palau

Dec 6, 2023 | Blog, News, Pacific

In a historic moment for Palau’s aviation landscape, Alii Palau Airlines successfully realised its first flight to Palau on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2023. The inaugural journey, marked by a chartered Drukair, a Royal Bhutan Airline, touched down at the Palau International Airport at 6:40 am, heralding a new era in air travel for the island nation.

President Surangel Whipps Jr., addressing the ceremony commemorating the occasion, expressed his elation: “We talked about it for many years, but today, finally, we have a new gateway opening up Palau to the world.”

Facilitating direct service between Singapore and Palau, Alii Palau Airlines introduces a novel avenue for travellers from various Asian countries, Europe, and America to access Palau through Singapore, a prominent airline hub in Asia.

During the ceremony, Akansksha Johri, the CFO of Alii Palau Airlines, disclosed that the airline is set to operate twice a week starting in December. The news was met with anticipation, with Kikuchi-san, a tour operator catering to Japanese and other nationalities, expressing excitement about an expected influx of customers next month.

The inaugural flight ceremony, attended by representatives from national and state governments, diplomatic corps, and the business community, showcased the significance of this development in Palau’s connectivity.

Governor Norman Ngiratecheboet of Airai, a former United Airlines manager for Palau, highlighted the newfound accessibility that Alii Palau Airlines brings to the nation. The State of Airai is gearing up to capitalize on the anticipated surge in visitor arrivals through tailored tourism packages.

Alii Palau Airlines extends its services not only to inbound travellers but also to Palau residents venturing abroad, offering special rates. CFO Johri announced that local ticket purchases could be facilitated through their office located at the Palasia Hotel.

The management and board of directors of Alii Palau Airlines, helmed by Chairman James Goh, Chief Financial Officer Johri, and board members Hayato Sugiyama, Glenn Seid, and Terence Ruluked, are optimistic about the airline’s role in transforming Palau into a more accessible and interconnected destination.