Cook Islands Prime Minister and Forum Chair, Mark Brown has confirmed his government is in discussion with Fiji Airways to facilitate a charter flight to Rarotonga during the upcoming Forum Leaders Meeting in November.

“I’m happy to say that we have been in discussions with Fiji Airways to look at streamlining the travel from all Pacific members particularly from Nadi direct to Rarotonga.

Those discussions have been progressing very well. And in the next couple of days, we will be able to put out a statement to be able to confirm once arrangements have been in place,” PM Brown told PACNEWS.

Given the high cost of travel in the region after COVID, PM Brown said other Pacific delegation especially from Northern Pacific can take advantage of the charter flight on Fiji national carrier from Nadi to Rarotonga.

Many Pacific islanders have to go through Auckland in New Zealand in order to travel to Cook Islands.

“But we’re very mindful that after COVID some of our airlinks are still being re-established. The cost of travel for much of us in the Pacific remains expensive.

So we’ve been looking at opportunities to try and make it easier for our Pacific delegations to be able to get to Rarotonga. And one of the option that we have been having discussion with Fiji Airways with is a direct flight from Nadi to Rarotonga and hopefully the other delegations from other Pacific countries who do have access to Nadi, will be able to take advantage of that. We should have a statement by next week to confirm arrangement,” PM Brown told PACNEWS.

Cook Islands is hosting the Forum Leaders Meeting from 06 – 10 November 2023.