Since starting its Pacific Flights Program in FY2020, the Australian government has spent over AUD$16.9 million ($11.4 million) connecting 13 Pacific countries and Australia through seven airlines facilitating over 600 flights that have moved over 45,000 people and over 4,000 tons of cargo including critical vaccines and medical supplies.
It is currently assisting the Nauru Airlines flight that links Brisbane with Nauru, Tarawa, Majuro and Pohnpei.
This is the only flight to directly connect the north Pacific to Australia, providing time and cost efficiencies. “The current agreement with the flight operator, Nauru Airlines, concludes on 30 June 2023,” said Australian Embassy Chargé Katrina Murray. “Australia is exploring options to support ongoing connectivity and remain in discussions with Nauru Airlines about this.”
The Australia-Palau Connector, also supported by the Pacific Flights Program, provides connectivity between Australia, Papua New Guinea and Palau. Together, the Australia-North Pacific Connector and Australia-Palau Connector enable further connectivity between Australia, and the north and central Pacific.
“Australia supports intra-Pacific connectivity, which provides opportunities for economic development and growth through the region,” said Murray.