Air Kiribati, the flag carrier of the Republic of Kiribati, received on December 30, 2019 its first Embraer E190-E2 jet.
Embraer announced the contract with the Government of Kiribati, in partnership with its national airline, Air Kiribati, in December 2018. The airline ordered two E190-E2s and has purchase rights for two more.
Air Kiribati is the launch operator for the E190-E2 in Asia Pacific. The aircraft will be configured in a dual class layout seating 92 passengers in total, with 12 seats in business class and 80 seats in economy class.
Located in the central Pacific, Air Kiribati can now fly longer domestic and international routes than it currently does with its turboprop fleet.
With a maximum range of up to 2,850 nautical miles, the E190-E2 can serve destinations throughout the vast expanse of Kiribati, including nonstop from Tarawa to Kiritimati (Christmas) Island, one of the most challenging routes in the Pacific. The current domestic flight from Tarawa to Kiritimati requires an international stopover in Fiji. Spanning four time zones and comprised of more than 30 islands, Kiribati is the only country in the world to be in all four hemispheres.
Air Kiribati made this announcement:
Air Kiribati is proud to announce that our Hon. Minister Willie Tokataake has taken delivery on behalf of the Government of Kiribati of the the first of two Embraer E190 E2 aircraft in Brazil.
Minister Tokataake at the delivery ceremony mentioned that “Aviation is critical for any island nation and Kiribati is no exception,” The arrival of our first jet today is the culmination of three years of vision, strategic thought, government focus, research, evaluation, hard work, commitment, partnership and a good measure of problem solving.”
Since 1995 Air Kiribati has offered international services but has been predominately focussed on providing domestic connections through the Gilbert Islands Group of Kiribati.
In 2016 Air Kiribati commenced domestic operations in the Line Island Group servicing both Washington and Fanning Islands.
In 2017 the IATA once again recognised Air Kiribati as an international airline once it was allocated its official two letter code IK and three numeric code 069.
This change is facilitating the airline to operate international operations once again.
Air Kiribati is a 100% government owned airline and is proud to carrier the flag of the nation of Kiribati. The Air Kiribati Board directly reports to the Minister for Information, Communication, Transport and Tourism Development (MICTTD).
Top Copyright Photo: PR-EHT is pictured at Palma de Mallorca on a refueling stop on January 1, 2020. It is due to become VH-IKJ. Air Kiribati Embraer E190-E2 (ERJ 190-300STD) PR-EHT (VH-IKJ) (msn 19020029) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 948690.