Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport: An Island Gem in Kiribati

Located on the remote island of Kiritimati, the Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport (CXI), with its IATA code CXI and ICAO code PLCH, may not be a widely known airport in the world, but it is definitely a hidden gem for those who are looking for an adventure in the Pacific. With its stunning natural beauty and unique history, this airport is a destination in itself. In this article, we will dive into what makes Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport a unique and special place.

An Airport with a Unique Location

Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport is situated on Kiritimati Island, also known as Christmas Island, in the Line Islands of Kiribati Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport. This Central Pacific island nation is made up of 33 coral atolls, with Kiritimati Island being its largest and most remote island.

The airport is uniquely located on the equator, making it the world's largest atoll and the first inhabited place on earth to celebrate the new year. With its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and lush greenery, Kiritimati Island is truly a tropical paradise, far away from the modern hustle and bustle.

An Airport with a Rich History

Kiritimati Island was first discovered by British captain James Cook on Christmas Eve in 1777, hence its name. However, it wasn't until 1978 that the first airport was built on the island. The airport was initially named Cassidy International Airport after the late President of Ireland, William Thomas Cosgrave, who was a close friend of Kiribati's first president, Ieremia Tabai.

Over the years, the airport has seen significant developments, including a new terminal building constructed in the late 1990s and the extension of the runway to accommodate larger aircraft. Today, Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport is a vital gateway for the people of Kiribati, connecting them with the rest of the world.

A Small Airport with Impressive Features

Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport may be small in size, covering just 200 hectares, but it has all the essential facilities to make traveling smooth and comfortable Kiruna Airport. The airport is owned and operated by the Government of Kiribati, and it has one passenger terminal and one cargo terminal.

The airport serves as a hub for Air Kiribati, the national airline, and Coral Sun Airways, a regional airline. These two airlines connect Kiritimati Island with other islands in Kiribati, such as Tarawa and Fiji, providing vital transportation for the island's residents and tourists.

A Delightful Airport Experience

As a small airport, Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport offers a relaxed and hassle-free travel experience for its passengers. With a single terminal building, navigating through the airport is easy, and there are not long lines at check-in or security. The airport staff is friendly and helpful, ensuring that travelers feel welcomed to the island.

Passengers can spend their layover at the airport's lounge, where they can enjoy refreshments and have access to free Wi-Fi. There are also duty-free shops at the airport, where travelers can find unique souvenirs and local products.

For those who are traveling with children, the airport has a small playground outside the terminal, perfect for keeping the little ones entertained while waiting for their flight. The airport also offers car rental services, making it convenient for tourists to explore the island at their own pace.

A Unique Runway Configuration

One of the most intriguing features of Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport is its runway configuration. The airport has two runways, with the longest runway measuring 2,437 meters and the shortest at 1,955 meters. This may seem like a strange set-up, but it is a necessity due to the unique location and topography of the island.

Unlike traditional runways built on flat land, the runways at Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport are built on the island's narrow strip of coral reef. This unique runway configuration is a testament to the innovation and adaptability of the Kiribati people.

A Gateway to Paradise

Aside from being a vital transportation hub, Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport is also a gateway to the stunning natural beauty of Kiritimati Island. The island is home to some of the best saltwater fly fishing in the world, attracting anglers from all over the globe. The crystal clear waters surrounding the island are also perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving, with an abundance of colorful marine life to discover.

The island is also a nesting site for the rare and endangered green sea turtles, which lay their eggs on the island's beaches. Visitors can witness these magnificent creatures hatch and make their way to the sea, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

For those who want a more relaxed vacation, Kiritimati Island's pristine beaches offer the perfect setting for sunbathing and stargazing. With no light pollution, the night sky on the island is a breathtaking sight, with thousands of stars sparkling above.

A Sustainable Airport

As an island nation, Kiribati is highly vulnerable to climate change and the drastic effects it has on the environment. As a responsible and environmentally-conscious airport, Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport is committed to sustainability practices.

The airport has implemented solar panels to power the terminal building, reducing the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions. The airport also has a rainwater harvesting system in place, providing water for the terminal's facilities while reducing the island's reliance on ground and sea water.

A Piece of Paradise

In conclusion, Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport may not be a huge airport in terms of size and traffic, but it is a significant gateway to the stunning paradise that is Kiritimati Island. With its unique location, rich history, impressive facilities, and commitment to sustainability, this airport is not just a place to catch a flight; it is an experience in itself. So why not add Kiritimati Island and its airport to your travel bucket list and discover this hidden gem in Kiribati?

Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport

Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport

Airport Details Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport - Name Airport: Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport

  • Category: Airports K
  • Name Airport: Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport
  • IATA Code: CXI
  • ICAO Code: PLCH
  • Country: Kiribati
  • Address: Kiritimati Island, Line Islands, Kiribati
  • Type: International
  • Established Year: 1978
  • Area Size: 200 hectares
  • Owner Operator: Government of Kiribati
  • Passenger Terminals: 1
  • Cargo Terminals: 1
  • Major Operating Airlines: Air Kiribati, Coral Sun Airways
  • Runways: 2
  • Longest Runway: 2,437 meters
  • Shortest Runway: 1,955 meters



  • Passenger Gates: 4
  • Cargo Gates: 1
  • Operating Airlines: Air Kiribati, Coral Sun Airways
  • Daily Flights: 5
  • Annual Passenger Capacity: 10,000
  • Number of Employees: 100
  • Official Contact Number: +686 31888
  • VIP Lounge: Yes
  • Parking Facilities: Yes
  • Distance from City Center: 5 kilometers
  • Distance from Nearest Business Hub: 10 kilometers
  • Restaurants and Cafes: 2
  • Duty Free Shops: 1
  • Car Rental Facilities: Yes
  • Taxi Services: Yes

Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport: An Island Gem in Kiribati

Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport

The Hidden Gem of the Pacific: Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport

The Pacific Islands are a popular destination for travelers seeking a tropical paradise. Many flock to places like Hawaii and Fiji, but there is one hidden gem that often goes unnoticed: Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport.

Located on the tiny island of Kiritimati, part of the Republic of Kiribati, this airport may be small in size but it boasts some unique features that make it stand out from other airports in the region.

Let's take a closer look at what makes Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport a must-visit for travelers in the Pacific OpenedHost.Com.

A Brief History

Kiritimati, also known as Christmas Island, is the largest atoll in the world and was a strategic location for the U.S. military during World War II. After the war, the island was left abandoned until the 1970s when it was discovered by a group of American fishermen.

In 1986, Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport was officially opened, providing the island with its first air connection to the outside world. Over the years, the airport has undergone numerous upgrades to meet international standards, making it a vital link for the island's tourism and economic development.

Airport Features

Despite its small size, Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport offers a range of features that will make your travel experience comfortable and hassle-free.

With four passenger gates and one cargo gate, the airport may not seem like much, but it is efficiently designed to handle a growing number of flights and travelers. Currently, two airlines are operating from the airport – Air Kiribati and Coral Sun Airways – offering five daily flights to and from the island Kortrijk Wevelgem International Airport.

The annual passenger capacity of 10,000 may seem low compared to other international airports, but given the island's small population and limited tourism, it is more than enough to accommodate all travelers.

Experiencing Island Hospitality

One of the standout features of Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport is its warm and welcoming atmosphere, thanks to the friendly staff and island hospitality. With just 100 employees, the airport maintains a family-like atmosphere, making travelers feel at home from the moment they step off the plane.

Convenience at its Best

When it comes to convenience, the airport has got you covered. For travelers who prefer to drive themselves, the airport offers parking facilities. However, given the island's small size, you can easily travel to and from the airport by taxi.

If you're looking to explore the island on your own, you can rent a car directly from the airport. Just make sure to bring your driver's license and passport for verification.

A Taste of Island Cuisine

Although the airport is small, it still manages to provide travelers with a variety of options when it comes to dining. There are two restaurants and cafes within the airport, offering a selection of local and international dishes. And of course, no trip to the Pacific is complete without trying some fresh seafood!

Duty-Free Shopping

For the shopaholics, there is one duty-free shop at the airport, allowing travelers to purchase duty-free goods before departing. From souvenirs to local handicrafts, you can find some unique items to take home as a reminder of your visit to Kiritimati.

First-Class Treatment

For those who are looking for a bit of luxury, Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport offers a VIP lounge, complete with comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, and refreshments. So, if you have a layover or are traveling on a business trip, you can relax and catch up on work in a comfortable and exclusive environment.

Accessibility and Location

One of the best things about Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport is its location, just 5 kilometers from the island's main city center. This means that you won't have to travel far to reach your accommodation or explore the island's attractions.

The airport is also conveniently located just 10 kilometers from the nearest business hub, making it a strategic location for business travelers. And with the airport's taxi services, you can easily get to and from meetings or events.

Discovering Kiritimati Island

Aside from its unique airport, Kiritimati Island is a paradise waiting to be discovered. With its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and diverse marine life, it is a dream destination for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts.

The island is also known for its world-class bonefishing, attracting anglers from around the world. And for those interested in history and culture, there are various historical sites and traditional villages to explore.

The Future of Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport

As the demand for tourism and business travel in the Pacific continues to grow, Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport is poised for further development. Plans are underway to increase the airport's annual passenger capacity and expand its runway to accommodate larger aircraft.

With these developments, Kiritimati Island is sure to become an even more popular destination in the Pacific.

In Conclusion

Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport may not be as well-known as some of its neighboring airports, but it offers a unique travel experience that is unrivaled in the region. From its friendly staff and convenient facilities to its stunning location and range of activities, it truly is a hidden gem in the Pacific.

So, for your next vacation or business trip, consider traveling through Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport and discover the magic of Kiritimati Island. You won't be disappointed.

Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport

Kiritimati Cassidy International Airport: An Island Gem in Kiribati

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