Nauru Airlines (Nauru) has ferried its first B737-800 into Brisbane International. VH-AN2 (msn 30660) departed Kaunas International on January 19, 2024, and flew to the Queensland capital via Vilnius, Sharm el Sheikh, Colombo International, and Darwin, arriving on January 23.

The carrier acquired the 20.7-year-old aircraft from AviaAM Leasing. It last operated for t'way Air (TW, Daegu) for 11 years until mid-2023. VH-AN2 joins Nauru's three other passenger-configured aircraft - a B737-700 registered as VH-INU (msn 34538), and two B737-300s registered as VH-PNI (msn 28555) and VH-XNU (msn 25609).

Late last year, Nauru Airlines CEO Brett Gebers told ch-aviation the airline had purchased the B737-800 as part of a fleet renewal plan that will see the B737-300s replaced by NG-types. "The operating costs of older B737s are getting to the point where maintenance costs exceed the additional capital costs of the newer generation B737s," he said.

Nauru Airlines' scheduled passenger flights link the island nation with Brisbane, Koror, Pohnpei, Majuro, Tarawa, Christmas Island, and Nadi. In addition, Nauru Airlines frequently wet-leases its passenger aircraft to other carriers to help plug capacity shortfalls. Recently, one of its planes operated for Bonza (AB, Sunshine Coast) while that airline awaited regulatory approval to use wet-leased aircraft from Canada.

Nauru Airlines also flies three freighters, including a pair of B737-300(SF)s and a single B737-800(SF). The later aircraft only arrived last year and now primarily operates between Nauru and Brisbane.