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By Oyaol Ngirairikl

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, October 4) - Top Palau Micronesia Air officials are flying in this week to drum up financial support for the fledgling airline.

After years of planning and enticing investors, the airline took to the air this summer, offering routes from Palau to Manila, Philippines; Darwin, Australia; the Federated States of Micronesia and most recently Guam.

Touted as a regional airline, Palau Micronesia Air’s investors are primarily regional investors, including the airline’s CEO and President Alan Seid and Palau businessman Sam Masang.

The governments of the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau also invested in the airline.

The airline, with its single Boeing 737-300 aircraft and logo featuring the full moon from Palau's flag and four stars representing the four FSM states, also inspired retired Koror Elementary School teacher Makoto Ngiraked to invest his money in an airline he believes will help Palau and other islands in the Micronesian region prosper.

Seid has said the airline will provide additional travel choices to local residents, and the regional airline will help market the Micronesian region as a single destination, making a more attractive tour package than the islands individually. But to do that, Seid said by phone from Palau yesterday, he needs Guam’s support.

"We want to come and showcase who we are and try (to) earn the support of the people in Guam," Seid said. "We’re very happy that we’ve made it there. It took a while, but we’re finally there."

Palau Micronesia Air made its first appearance in Guam on September 21. Airline officials touted competitive airfare between Guam and its various destinations as a customer attraction that will help keep the airline alive in an industry where many larger and deeper-pocketed airlines are struggling to stay above water.

Next year, Palau Micronesia Air will acquire a second aircraft, which will be used to service direct flights between Palau and Japan, Seid said.

He will be on Thursday’s flight to Guam, along with a delegate of government officials from the FSM and Palau, including Palau President Tommy Remengesau.

October 5, 2004

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