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Tuvalu Travel Guide

Funafuti International Airport
A flight on the tarmac at
Funafuti International Airport.

Getting There

Until June 2009, Air Fiji operated a twice-weekly service from Suva, Fiji, to Funafuti using a 30-seat Embraer Brasilia. This airline was a joint venture between the Tuvalu Government and a Chinese aircraft manufacturer but due to inefficiencies and competition from Fiji Airways, it was forced to declare bankruptcy the company was losing millions of dollars. Air Fiji always was expensive, charging A$510 or F$650 each way with no discounts available.

Since mid-2008, Fiji's national airline Fiji airways has flown between Suva and Funafuti twice a week using a 44-passenger ATR 42 aircraft. Their fares are similar to those previously charged by Air Fiji which helps explain why Tuvalu receives so few tourists. Even so, the flights are often heavily booked by local seamen and people on some sort of official business. Reconfirm your flight reservations upon arrival at Funafuti or not less than 72 hours in advance at the computerized Travel Office in the airport terminal building in Vaiaku. There can be long waiting lists, and you'll be bumped if you fail to reconfirm.

Funafuti's airport terminal (FUN) is the center of town and the paved airstrip itself is used by the locals for sporting events, to dry clothes, for stargazing, etc. A siren sounds to clear the runway just before the flights arrive.

Tuvalu collects an A$30 departure tax, which yachties and ship passengers must also pay.

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