MIAMI – Pasifika Air, a New Zealand upstart airline, is set to launch operations from Wellington (WLG) and Christchurch (CHC) to Rarotonga (RAR) in the Cook Islands.

The airline is expected to attain approval for operation from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority in May 2021 before beginning flights with two leased Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Both New Zealand and the Cook Islands are unique in the sense that they both have been minimally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic while both have the disease under control thanks to strict travel restrictions and island geography.

Thus, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand and Prime Minister Mark Brown of the Cook Islands have announced that a quarantine-free travel bubble will open between the countries at the beginning of 2021.

Rarotonga International Airport Photo: By Follash – Own work, Public Domain,

Local Paradise a Mere Doorstep from New Zealand

Pasifika Air founder Mike Pero, whose father hails from the Cook Islands, believes that the service will ” introduce Kiwis to a local paradise on their doorstep.”

He further added that “the journey time is almost cut in half by skipping Auckland and going direct” from WLG and CHC.

Expecting to compete with Jetstar (JQ) on service from Auckland (AKL) to RAR, with the convenience of service from WLG and CHC Pacifika Air will provide an innovative rather than low-cost service.

Featured image: Pasifika Air Boeing 737-800 Rendering Photo: