Alii Palau Airlines (Koror) has commenced operations using an A320-200N chartered from Drukair. The startup used the aircraft to operate a Singapore Changi-Koror roundtrip on November 23 and said it intends to expand both its network and mode of operation.

The once-weekly flights (stepping up to twice weekly from December 21) provide the only direct link between Koror and Singapore. Alii Palau Airlines Managing Partner Akanksha Johr said the service was "a gamechanger", tapping into the Changi hub and facilitating one-stop options for most travellers to the island.

Flightradar24 ADS-B data confirms that A320-200N A5-JKW (msn 9595) conducted the Singapore-Koror flight on the morning of November 23 before resuming Drukair's own scheduled operations.

Alii Palau has yet to secure its air operator's certificate and, in the meantime, will rely on the capacity provided by the Bhutanese carrier. A spokesperson tempered reports in other outlets suggesting the airline was set to make an aircraft acquisition decision in the first quarter of 2024, telling ch-aviation there were no immediate plans to acquire aircraft. However, the spokesperson did say Alli Palau was examining how it can expand the network to reach Japan, Korea, Yap, and Pohnpei. "These studies will take time as it’s technically challenging to operate in the Western Pacific," the spokesperson said.

Koror Airport, the primary gateway to Palau, is served by six scheduled passenger airlines but typically has just a handful of daily arrivals and departures. Aside from Alii Palau/Druk Air, ch-aviation PRO airports data reveals that Nauru Airlines, Air Niugini, United Airlines, China Airlines, and Cambodia Airways (flying in from Macau International) all service Koror, although except for United Airlines, only once or twice a week. Johr said the new Singapore service is a "huge opportunity connecting travellers from Europe, India, and Southeast Asia to Palau."