The KBE Local Government’s “Air Bikini” airplane arrived last Friday to much fanfare and celebration at Amata Kabua International Airport.
A big group of local VIPs was on hand to welcome the plane next to the AMI hangar.
The event included a blessing from UCC Rev. Palukne Johnny, speeches by Acting President Brenson Wase, KBE Mayor Anderson Jibas, KBE Senator Eldon Note, and Jabot Senator Kessai Note — who invited Speaker Kenneth Kedi to offer remarks, which he did, including a short chant and brief remarks: “It’s not one, it’s not two. It’s not this party, it’s not that party. It’s a unit. This is the way we will move forward from now on, as one.”
Wase said that AMI is to be given management of Air Bikini. He highlighted the Bikini scuba dive tourism program and how lack of air transportation was the main issue with it. “The government will work with the development of Bikini so that dive Bikini (operations) can resume,” he said. “The government, in the name of the President and Cabinet members, gives assurance that it will work with you to develop bungalows and other attractions to progress not just Bikini but also Marshall Islands…so tourism can move forward.”
Mayor Jibas underlined the “73 years later” journey of the Bikinians with the new plane and other developments.
The Air Bikini Dash-8 is awaiting finalization of details for its operation and the various review and approvals required by the RMI Directorate of Civil Aviation for aircraft to be flown domestically.
Read more about this in the September 27, 2019 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.