Palau Airport jetway repairs disrupt United Airlines flights 

Photo: Palau International Airport

United Airlines passengers faced disruptions in Palau and Guam on 19 – 20 May after the airline canceled flights due to safety concerns.  

The Palau International Airport’s two jetways were inoperable for repairs and maintenance. 

The disruptions impacted United Airlines passengers who were forced to make alternative arrangements. 

The stranded passengers are told that the cancellations are not UA-related and are Palau government issues. The travelers are on their own, bearing the cost of alternative arrangements as result of flight cancellations. 

Palau’s Minister of Public Infrastructure and Industry, Charles Obichang, addressed the situation in a radio announcement on Monday this week.

 He assured the public that the airlines, including United Airlines, China Airlines, and charter operators, were informed beforehand about the scheduled jetway maintenance and the temporary measures that would be implemented. 

These temporary measures included using a mobile stairway to board and disembark passengers. China Airlines passengers arriving on Monday used the mobile stairway to disembark. 

Minister Obichang declined to comment on United Airlines’ specific decisions and internal policies in a phone interview with Island Times

“We held a Zoom meeting today with United Airlines executives in Guam, and they have agreed to resume flights tomorrow,” Obichang said, referring to Tuesday’s scheduled flight.  

“There was a delay in informing the public about this situation because we wanted to speak with United Airlines management first. We urged them to resume flights while we work on resolving any concerns they have, as these flights are vital, especially for those needing urgent medical care in the Philippines.” 

Obichang acknowledged the role United Airlines plays in bringing visitors from the U.S. and Japan to Palau, and the critical need to have the flights resume as soon as possible. 

Apologising to the public, Obichang assured that the jetway repairs will be completed by end of this week.