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Air New Zealand Supports Start Up Airline - Palau Micronesia Air

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 6 November 2003

Last month Air New Zealand signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Palau's start up airline, Palau Micronesia Air, committing to provide a range of support services for the new company which commences services in April 2004.

Palau Micronesia Air will have no engineering and operational infrastructure of its own but will operate its two Boeing 737-300 aircraft under Air New Zealand's Airline Operating Certificate.

"This arrangement means Palau's new airline can operate and we are delighted to be of support to the initiative," said Air New Zealand Group General Manager Ventures, Craig Sinclair.

"While Palau is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, its civil aviation infrastructure is small, so Air New Zealand will be directly involved with on site management of the new airline and its procedures and standards will be adopted by Palau Micronesia Air.

"Our pilots will initially fly Palau Micronesia Air routes while local flight crew are trained by the Air New Zealand training organisation to operate the aircraft to Air New Zealand standards. Our engineers will also maintain the 737 aircraft," he said.

This is not the first time Air New Zealand has undertaken this type of arrangement. The airline has also assisted Papua New Guinea's Air Niugini in a similar way - operating and maintaining their B 767 aircraft, while providing initial training and ongoing support for their flight crew.

Japan Airlines are actively supporting the Palau initiative and will code share with the new airline which will serve the local Micronesia Islands and the Japanese tourism market.

Palau's main airport in Koror is currently used by Continental Airlines, which operates scheduled services to the island, and Japan Airlines which operates charter flights.

The island of Palau is an independent Republic (since 1994) located in the north-western Pacific, south-west of Guam. Its main income is derived from Tourism and Fisheries.

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