Air Kiribati (IK, Tarawa) and Solomons - Solomon Airlines (IE, Honiara) have signed an agreement establishing a new aviation service linking Tarawa with Honiara, Brisbane International (Australia), and Nadi (Fiji).

At an official signing ceremony in Tarawa this week, the Kiribati Minister for Transport, Information, Communication, and Tourism Development, Willie Tokataake, said the agreement would significantly boost aviation access into the remote South Pacific island atoll while at the same time build on both countries’ existing strong links.

“There is no doubt this new agreement will boost economic development opportunities and in particular tourism and export opportunities for Kiribati,” the Minister said.

Air Kiribati CEO, Tarataake Teannaki said his airline was excited to be working with an airline partner which understood the travel needs of both the Kiribati people and Air Kiribati.

For its part, Air Kiribati operates regular flights throughout the island state employing a combination of Y12 and DHC-6-300 equipment.

“This service will be a major step up and will give the Kiribati people new options to travel beyond our islands,” he said.

The agreement comes after the Kiribati national carrier was granted its official two-letter IATA designator code – "IK". As such, service launch dates as well as schedules will be announced in coming weeks with an official launch to be held in Tarawa.

The development builds on an agreement signed last November for a new Air Service Agreement (ASA) and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Solomon Islands and Republic of Kiribati.