Cassidy International Airport

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Cassidy International Airport
Airport typePublic
Elevation AMSL5 ft / 2 m
Coordinates01°59′10″N 157°20′59″W / 1.98611°N 157.34972°W / 1.98611; -157.34972Coordinates: 01°59′10″N 157°20′59″W / 1.98611°N 157.34972°W / 1.98611; -157.34972
CXI is located in Kiribati
Location of airport in Kiribati
Direction Length Surface
m ft
08/26 2,103 6,900 Asphalt
Source: DAFIF[1][2]

Cassidy International Airport (IATA: CXI, ICAO: PLCH) is an airport located north of Banana, a settlement on Kiritimati (also known as Christmas Island) in Kiribati. It is the only airport in the Kiribati part of the Line Islands with an IATA or ICAO code.

The airport is served by Fiji Airways from Nadi, Fiji and Honolulu, United States. Since neither Air Kiribati nor Coral Sun Airways owns aircraft capable of flying between Kiritimati and the Gilbert Islands, where all other operational airports in Kiribati are located, there are no domestic flights to or from Kiritimati. However, Coral Sun Airways declares on its website that the company is considering purchasing a larger aircraft, capable of flying to the Line Islands and the Phoenix Islands.


During World War II, the United States Army Air Forces Air Transport Command used the airport as a refuelling stop on its Pacific transport route from Hawaii to Kanton Island for flights to Australia and New Zealand as well as a staging point for attacks on the Gilbert Islands, then occupied by Japan. The airport was expanded considerably during the war, and the World War II runway configuration can still be seen as abandoned runways and aircraft parking areas in aerial photography. [3]


Cassidy International Airport was originally named after a United States Army World War II pilot, Wilbur Layton Casady, whose plane crashed near the island on March 23, 1942. The name remained until sometime in the 1980s and was referenced in many books and a Sports Illustrated article on fishing in Kiribati. It is unclear when the spelling changed, but it currently retains the spelling 'Cassidy' International Airport.


A Fiji Airways Boeing 737 from Nadi en route Honolulu at Cassidy International Airport. Cargo has been unloaded.
The customs, immigration lounge
Bus service into Banana and London

The airport is at an elevation of 5 ft (1.5m) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 08/26 with an asphalt surface measuring 2,103 by 30 metres (6,900 ft × 98 ft).[1]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Air Kiribati Tabuaeran
Fiji Airways Honolulu, Nadi

Air Pacific service[edit]

On 29 August 2008, Air Pacific (now Fiji Airways) announced they would suspend flights operating the airport from 2 September 2008. The decision was made due to the deteriorating surface of the runway which had been deemed unsafe after an inspection by Air Pacific personnel and specialist runway engineers.[4] Service resumed on 25 May 2010.[citation needed] During the period Air Pacific was not offering its services to Fiji and the United States, a USA company, Te Mauri Travel, offered "interim" charter flights to Kiritimati.


  1. ^ a b Airport information for PLCH from DAFIF (effective October 2006)
  2. ^ Airport information for Cassidy International Airport (PLCH / CXI) at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective October 2006).
  3. ^  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website
  4. ^ "Air Pacific Suspends Flights To Kirimati (Christmas) Island Archived 15 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine". Air Pacific, 29 August 2008. Retrieved on 19 Oct 2008.

External links[edit]