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In a statement, Pero said: “I came into this in 2020 knowing there would be challenges, but the one that continually hounds us in our decision-making is the seeming reluctance to open up travel to the Cook Islands and other Pacific nations."
“While the dark cloud hanging over global travel remains, we expected a brighter outlook for the Pacific region," he said.
Pero initially expected to start flying between the Cook Islands, Christchurch and Wellington in about June and start taking bookings in March, but this depends on two-way quarantine free travel between the countries.
The airline's website now says Pasifika Air flights hope to commence in August and bookings can be made in June.
Pero, who is the face of Mike Pero Real Estate, planned to use Virgin Australia aircraft that are now parked up and some of the airline's former crew who lost their jobs when the base in Christchurch was closed in April.
Pasifika Air would use the leased Boeing 737-800s to fly between Wellington and Rarotonga and Christchurch and Rarotonga, so Pasifika would avoid a head-to-head fight with Air New Zealand which flies out of Auckland to the Cook Islands.