Palau Micronesia has made a successful launch and now operates an island-hopping network that changes travel patterns in the central Pacific.

Based in the Republic of Palau, the new airline operates its single Boeing 737-300 from Palau to the islands of Yap, Chuuk (formerly Truk), and Pohnpei (formerly Ponape) in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Both Palau and the FSM are independent nations with links to the USA.

Significantly, these new flights bypass Guam, the region's traditional hub and home base to rival Continental Micronesia. The FSM government contributed startup capital to Palau Micronesia and in return sought this direct link between Pohnpei, its capital, and other parts of its island nation.

Palau Micronesia also operates from Palau to Manila and Darwin, Australia. These flights offer an alternative to Continental Micronesia's routes from Guam to Manila and Cairns, Australia.

Palau Micronesia, founded and owned primarily by entrepreneur Alan Seid, is wetleasing its first jet from New Zealand's Airwork, a charter and cargo operator. The startup's arrival comes at a time when Continental Micronesia is shifting more emphasis to long-haul routes. It continues to serve Micronesia, but flies from Guam to various Asian gateways. In December it will add a route from Hawaii to Japan.

Source: Airline Business