Nauru shelves plans to buy a new plane after losing key air routes

Updated at 8:11 pm on 23 May 2006

Nauru's national airline has shelved plans to buy a new aircraft after announcements that several key destinations will be serviced by other airlines.

Air Nauru had its only aircraft impounded by a creditor five months ago and the island's government, with financial aid from Taiwan, has been negotiating the sale of a replacement plane.

But its chief executive, Geof Bowmaker, says two recent developments have forced them to put this plan on hold.

He says with Norfolk Island dropping Air Nauru's services out of Australia in favour of Ozjet, and Air Pacific's decision to fly the Nadi/Tarawa/Nauru route, the airline no longer has enough work to keep a plane fully employed.

"Principally the loss of the Norfolk flying has made us rethink and also the fact that Air Pacific will be applying capacity to a route we used to operate solely also makes us pause and think about the plan to engage a full time aircraft."

Next story in Pacific: Solomons police commander says claims of police negligence are irresponsible