Fly fishing

Kiribati hosts first commercial flight since border lockdown

In the arrival hall, passengers were greeted by Reigning Miss Kiribati, Paepae Kilei and staff from the Tourism Authority of Kiribati (TAK) who decorated travelers and returning residents with the katoka-bau, the Traditional Kiribati floral headdress presented to special guests.

Tarawa, Kiribati, was in celebration mode yesterday as the island converged on Bonriki International Airport to welcome the country’s first commercial flight, 2.5 years since the COVID-19 border lockdown.

Fiji Airways’ FJ231 landed at Bonriki International Airport with over a hundred passengers at 11am and was greeted by the Ngaon Nareau Choir whose chants and chants echoed the welcoming sounds of the islands throughout the terminal .

Also present to celebrate the occasion was the Minister of Tourism, Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives (MTCIC), Hon. Booti Nauan. In an interview, Hon. Nauan said he hoped visitors would enjoy their experience in Kiribati.

He also extended an invitation to them saying “take the time to find out who we are as a people and the values ​​we hold dear. Immerse yourself in our tropical islands and turquoise lagoons and above all, remember to make the most of your time here in Kiribati”.

In the arrival hall, passengers were greeted by the reigning Miss Kiribati, Paepae Kilei and staff from the Tourism Authority of Kiribati (TAK) who garlanded returning travelers and residents with the katoka-bau, the Traditional Kiribati floral headdress presented to special guests.

Entertainment from the Tekeang ni Marawa dance group in the arrivals area filled the terminal with more excitement as some passengers couldn’t resist the invitation to join the dancers as they made their way to their hosts and their families who waited impatiently for them. For many of these travelers, it was a happy and moving reunion after being separated from their families for a very long time.

The first commercial flight to Tarawa yesterday is a milestone and represents the Kiribati government’s efforts to manage COVID-19 and bring some normality back to its tourism industry.

Discussions on resuming flights to Kiribati’s second international airport and fly-fishing mecca, Kiritimati (Christmas Island) this year continue and TAK will share reopening details once information becomes available.

Source: press release

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