7 Nov 2003

Palau to launch airline in April

4:50 pm on 7 November 2003

Palau's plans to launch an airline have been delayed but Palau Micronesia Air expects to start flights in April.

Its chief executive officer, James Bradfield, says the airline had originally planned for a December start-up, but ran into a few hurdles that could not be overcome.

The news agency AAP says the airline will get support from Air New Zealand which includes flight crews and aircraft maintenance.

A senior Air New Zealand executive, Craig Sinclair, says while Palau is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, its civil aviation infrastructure is small.

He says this means Palau Micronesia Air will adopt Air New Zealand procedures and standards and Air New Zealand's pilots would initially fly its planes to Micronesia and other countries.