New Shuttle Flights launched between Dili and Atauro Island – MAF in Timor-Leste

๐—™๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฝ: ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐˜„ ๐˜€๐—ต๐˜‚๐˜๐˜๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐——๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—”๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ผ ๐—œ๐˜€๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ง๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ-๐—Ÿ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ.

Praise God for the opportunity to be involved in this initiative to help the local people of the area and to encourage new local business opportunities for one of Timor-Lesteโ€™s most poorly developed areas. Please pray that the shuttle flights will be a blessing to all who use them, to improve accessibility of transportation for the local people as well as to develop the tourism industry in the region, aiding the local economy.

These shuttle flights are part of our main mission, connecting the isolated people in Timor-Leste and bringing help, hope and healing through aviation and for that we praise God.

In March 2022, MAF Timor-Leste, USAID, and the Authority of Civil Aviation Timor-Leste (AACTL) flew from Dili to Atauro Island as part of โ€œUSAIDโ€™s Tourism for All Projectโ€ to open a temporary tourist information Centre and sign the Memorandum of Understanding โ€œMoUโ€ between MAF and ATKOMA for a regular air service to the Island.

Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has teamed up with Atauro Tourism Association (ATKOMA) to provide the special shuttle service for tourist visitors, NGO workers and local Atauro residents. A MAF aircraft flight from the mainland to the island takes less than 20 minutes, compared to one to two hours for speed boats and ferries.

โ€œAtauro is a remote island in Timor-Leste with a variety of potential tourist sectors that will draw more visitors. What caused it to become isolated? It is due to a lack of adequate transportation access to assist passengers. Timor-Leste has been regaining its independence for nearly two decades, and Atauro is still struggling in transportation issues to bring people or tourists from the mainland, since then.โ€ Lucio Boromeu Araujo, The Interim Atauroโ€™s Administrator, says.

The event was attended by local authorities, MAF, USAID, AACTL representatives, the ATKOMA team, and were welcomed by the local dance group called โ€œNama-Namaโ€. Itโ€™s derived from Makili, Atauroโ€™s dialect, which in English means โ€œSlowly-Slowlyโ€.

โ€œThis shuttle service is aimed to serve isolated people in Atauro, and helping to boost local economic growth on the islandโ€ – MAF Country Director, Pilot Nick Hitchins.
ABC Reporter James Norman recently flew with MAF Timor-Leste to visit the island of Atauro. Read his report here.ย 
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