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Possible direct flight from Fiji for Pacific Islands Forum meet

Sunday 24 September 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in 52nd Pacific Islands Forum 2023, Economy, National, Pacific Islands, Regional


Possible direct flight from Fiji  for Pacific Islands Forum meet
Photo: Fiji Airways.

Preparations to host the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIFLM52) in Rarotonga and Aitutaki in November includes a special commercial flight with Fiji Airways.

Earlier this month, Cook Islands Prime Minister and Pacific Islands Forum chair Mark Brown, who was in Suva, Fiji, discussed this Pacific partnership with the president of Kiribati Taneti Ma’amau on the margins of the Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting (FEMM).

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI), the Cook Islands hopes the direct flight could be arranged with Fiji Airways to support direct travel by Forum Leaders between Nadi and Rarotonga.

Speaking to Pacific News Service (PACNEWS), PM Brown said: “I am happy to say that we have been in discussions with Fiji Airways to look at streamlining the travel from all Pacific members particularly from Nadi direct to Rarotonga.”

Brown said discussions are progressing and in the next couple of days this would be confirmed, once arrangements are in place.

He further commented that given the high cost of travel in the region after Covid-19, other Pacific delegations, especially from the Northern Pacific, can take advantage of this charter flight.

Many Pacific islanders have to transit through Auckland in New Zealand in order to travel to Cook Islands.

Meanwhile, Brown also met with Fiji’s Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Lenora Qereqeretabua to discuss progress on bilateral initiatives including the bilateral cooperation arrangement being finalised by the Cook Islands and Fiji. It includes review and modernising of the bilateral air services agreement to support air connectivity, and efforts by both governments to promote expanded trade and business connections.

The Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting will be held from November 6-10.