20 Dec 2005

Air Nauru organises charter flights to assist stranded passengers

2:14 pm on 20 December 2005

Nauru's Finance Minister, David Adeang, says the country's airline, Air Nauru, has organised a charter flight for today to assist stranded passengers.

This follows the seizure of the government-owned airline's only aircraft by creditors following a court order.

Air Nauru had been unable to meet finance payments for the plane to the US Ex-Im bank since 2002 so the matter was taken to court.

Mr Adeang says they're doing everything they can to honour the bookings that have been made by travellers, and he says the first charter flight by an Australian company is due to take off today.

"We're expecting a charter of an Alliance aircraft to service the Australia/Solomons/Nauru and return sector, and I believe that will be repeated again later this week. I think Air Nauru is still waiting for confirmation from Air Pacific regarding availability of an aircraft to service the Fiji,Kiribati and Nauru sector."

Mr Adeang says unfortunately, he thinks the Marshall Islands won't be included as a destination in the current charters.

He says the government is currently assessing options with Air Nauru about leasing another jet as air links are crucial for the country.