After several delays, the Alii Palau Airline’s first flight to Palau became a reality Thursday last week. At 6:40 AM on Thanksgiving Day, 23 November 2023, Drukair, a Royal Bhutan Airline, chartered by Alii Palau Airlines, landed at the Palau International Airport carrying passengers from Singapore, opening a new route to Asia and the rest of the world.
“We talked about it for many years, but today, finally, we have a new gateway opening up Palau to the world,” said President Surangel Whipps Jr. in his remarks at the ceremony commemorating the inaugural flight of the Alii Palau Airline.
The airline, which provides direct service between Singapore and Palau, opens new access for travelers from other Asian countries, Europe, and America to come to Palau via Singapore, one of the largest airline hubs in Asia.
At the ceremony, the Alii Palau Airline CFO Akansksha Johri announced that the airline will be flying twice a week starting in December.
“We are expecting a group of customers next month coming in on this airline,” said Kikuchi-san, a tour operator providing tour services to Japanese as well as other nationalities, who was at the airport to welcome the new airline.
The inaugural flight ceremony included representatives of the national and state governments, diplomatic corp members, and a good business community representation.
Airai Governor Norman Ngiratecheboet, a former United Airlines manager for Palau, said that the Alii Palau Airline opens new access to Palau and that his State of Airai is looking to benefit from the expected visitor arrivals with its tourism packages.
The airline is also open for travelers from Palau traveling out of the country and is offering special rates. CFO Akansksha Johri also announced that tickets can be purchased locally through their office located at the Palasia Hotel. Alii Palau Airline management and board of directors include Chairman James Goh, Chief Financial Officer Akanksha Johri, and board members Hayato Sugiyama, Glenn Seid, and Terence Ruluked.