23 Mar 2004

Western Micronesia chiefs agree on regional airline

10:13 am on 23 March 2004

The President of Palau's Chief of Staff says an agreement signed at the Western Micronesia Chief Executives Summit, was highly beneficial for the country.

Billy Kuartei says leaders signed an agreement in key areas for the region, including a new regional airline for Micronesia and Palau.

He says they have a deal with the New Zealand company, Airworks, to begin the service from Palau on May 15th.

Billy Kuartei says with Palau hosting the Pacific Festival of the Arts, all leaders supported having the regional airline offer charter flights co-shared with an Australian airline.

"I prepared a joint communique and we did not put rosy stuff. And Palau Micronesian air, for example, that all of them said we should support Palau as a host country, and make a request to Continental to mix our flights to make people able to reach Palau in a reasonable time."

Billy Kuartei says leaders also discussed ways to improve health care and waste management.