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Palau Airways set to make maiden flight Sunday

2012/05/04 22:19:17

Taipei, May 4 (CNA) Palau Airways, which hopes to offer travelers greater convenience in traveling to the Pacific island nation, held its formal launch ceremony Friday in Taipei ahead of its eagerly anticipated maiden flight from Taipei to Palau on Sunday.

Palau President Johnson Toribiong offered his government's full backing to the Taipei-based carrier at the ceremony.

"We believe Palau Airways will be very good to the economy of Palau and the relationship between Taiwan and Palau," he said.

The airline was founded last year, and after six months of preparations it will take off for the first time on Sunday. The flight is said to be fully booked.

The carrier, in which Taiwanese investors have a 68 percent stake, will offer four round-trip flights a week between Taipei and Palau when it begins a regular schedule in late May.

Flights will leave Taipei for Palau at 11 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and fly back from Palau to Taipei at 5 p.m. Palau time on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

A Boeing 757-200 has been leased from Cambodia-based Tonlesap Airlines to operate the route. If passenger volume shows stable growth, the company plans to lease another Boeing 757 airplane to offer daily flights, according to the airline.

It also hopes to eventually add other destinations to its network, including Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.

(By Chen Shun-hsieh and Nell Shen)