11 Jun 2008

The Cook Islands ponders whether to allow Sunday flights to Aitutaki

2:01 pm on 11 June 2008

The Cook Islands cabinet is today considering a proposal to allow Sunday flights from Rarotonga to Aitutaki.

Religious groups had circulated a petition opposing the move, which received aroung 900 signatures on the island.

Aitutaki mayor Tai Herman says he doesn't understand the opposition because tourism is the island's backbone, which needs the service 7 days a week.

He says the move is long overdue.

"We should have had it going last year right now, we have an Air New Zealand 777 that arrives on Rarotonga on Sunday afternoon, and the whole thing was to try and connect Aitutaki with that aircraft, and hopefully we can have more tourists coming to the island. Right now, the occupancy of the hotels are 20-25 percent in the weekend and between 50-65 percent midweek."

Aitutaki mayor Tai Herman