The first-ever Tuvalu government-owned aircraft landed at the Funafuti International Airport on Thursday.

The Air Tuvalu Twin Otter T2-TV8 is expected to improve inter-island connectivity.

According to Tuvalu TV, the 16-seater plane landed on the island after travelling from Hawaii.

The aircraft was piloted by Air Tuvalu’s CEO Christopher Langton, co-pilot Sala Cieli Tamani Tandruka Lailai and engineer Thomas Newton.

It will fly to Fiji Friday for a few final touches before full operation in October this year.

The government is making sure to have the airstrips in the islands ready by then.

Details on fares and other operational aspect of the airline have not been released yet.

A special ceremony will be held today to mark the aricraft’s arrival.

Pacific Islands Forum secretary general Henry Puna congratulated the Tuvalu government “for creating aviation history for the island and its people.”

“Air Tuvalu, may you fly high and soar across your vast oceans and skies – good transport links are key to connectivity and access for our people,” Puna tweeted.