The governments of Nauru and the Marshall Islands have signed an air services memorandum of understanding (MOU) facilitating talks about Nauru Airlines (Nauru) operating on the Majuro-Honolulu sector. The minister for Nauru Air Corporation, Asterio Appi, and the minister in assistance to the president of the Marshall Islands, Bremity Lakjohn, signed the MOU on February 1, according to Nauru government social media channels.

“The MOU outlines the parameters of the expressed intention of both governments to agree that our teams with Nauru Air Corporation and Air Marshall Islands could sit down and explore possibilities of the intentions of the government of the Marshall Islands to fly from Majuro to Honolulu… there and beyond of course," Appi said.

A Nauru Airlines spokesperson told ch-aviation that the talks are in their early stages and are a matter for the government, but that the carrier welcomes the opportunity to grow the network, and declined to comment further. However, the airline had commented on the MOU on social media, saying "exciting times ahead" and calling it an example of Micronesian brothers working together.

ch-aviation understands that the Marshall Islands government is keen to see a carrier compete against United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) on the Majuro-Honolulu route and put some downward pressure on airfares. United flies the route four times a week.

Last year, Nauru Airlines tentatively secured a foreign air carrier permit from the US Department of Transportation (DOT), allowing it to operate scheduled passenger and cargo flights between Nauru and Guam International, and Nauru and Honolulu, via intermediary points, and the right to operate charter services between Nauru and any point or points in the United States.

Nauru Airlines already flies between Nauru and Majuro (via Tarawa) on its island hopper services. It also offers scheduled passenger flights to Brisbane International, Koror, Nadi, and Pohnpei, in addition to dedicated freight and charter flights. The airline recently inducted its first B737-800 as part of a wider fleet renewal plan.