‘Very early stages’ of talks on viability of Nauru Airlines’ direct Australia-Guam route

Photo: Nauru Airlines

Visiting Nauru Airline officials on Tuesday met with Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and other local officials on the possibility of adding Guam to Nauru Airlines’ route, as it once did in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Nauru Airlines is the national carrier for Nauru.

It currently flies routes from Nauru to Brisbane, Australia, Palau, Pohnpei, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and Fiji.

Tuesday’s discussions involved potentially expanding routes to include Guam and the possibility of direct flights from Guam to Brisbane.

Adelup said late Tuesday’s meeting builds upon the success of the 26th Micronesian Islands Forum hosted by Guam in June. During the MIF, Nauru Airlines announced to island leaders its plans of expanding routes across Micronesia. The Forum’s newly elected chairwoman is the Guam governor.

Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio, who’s in the Tuesday meeting along with the governor and management of the Guam International Airport Authority, said “although we are still in the very early stages of discussion,” he and the governor believe that these are very important steps to see the viability of another airline like Nauru Airlines flying into Guam.

“A route linking Australia to Guam would help bolster our tourism industry and add another tourism market to our current visitor profile,” Tenorio said.

“Because of this great potential, not only did we have the Guam Airport officials with us, we have also asked the Guam Visitors Bureau to meet with these officials while they are still on Guam.”

The governor initiated discussions with Maverick Eoe, deputy minister for Nauru Air Corp. and other Nauruan officials during the 26th MIF that Guam hosted in June and invited them to return to Guam to meet specifically about the possibility of operating flights to Guam.

“Keeping to our established goals at the MIF of increasing air transportation service to Guam and the Micronesian Region, we are excited to continue discussions with Nauru Airlines in their pursuit of growing their offerings in our region,” the governor said in a statement.

She said expanding air service options is a benefit to the people of Guam and can open up opportunities to diversify the tourism base, which she said can lead to increased economic growth, resiliency, and competition.

At the Tuesday meeting, Asterio Appi, minister for Nauru Air Corp, and Geoff Bowmaker, chairman of Nauru Airlines, joined Deputy Minister Eoe for continued dialogue, Adelup said.

During the June MIF, Micronesian leaders passed a resolution agreeing to present a unified voice to the U.S. federal government to request their assistance to increase competition from airlines in this region of the Pacific. Guam’s strong position as a Micronesian hub means that increasing airline services could create a ripple effect, boosting connectivity and economic opportunities throughout the region as a whole, Adelup said.