Air Niugini General Manager Dominic Kaumu said that one of the things that Air Niugini has done over the years is developing connectivity within the region.
Kaumu said at the Southwest Pacific Dialogue 2nd Sub-Regional Workshop on connectivity development underway in Port Moresby, that Air Niugini is putting PNG as the lead in linking the Asia Pacific region.
He said they have opened up the north of the Pacific, operating flights to Federal States of Micronesia.
Air Niugini currently operates to the 12 destinations namely Cairns, Brisbane and Sydney in Australia, Manila, Hongkong, Narita in Japan, Singapore, Denpassar in Bali, Honiara, Port Villa, Nadi and FSM.
“We’re very much in tune to what the leaders are talking about, in providing that link within the Pacific and the region,” Kaumu said.
Department of Transport statistical data on international passengers show that there’re about 500 000 passengers traveling in and out of the country.
“That means that we are only using 55 percent capacity which is low factor.
“In terms of discussions when talking to other countries within the region, we need to be very mindful of that.
“A lot of these decisions have to be made in consideration with the airline and that’s key to what we do at Air Niugini,” Kaumu added.
Kaumu confirmed that Air Niugini intends to commence services to Shangai, China this year and plans are underway to introduce a service to New Zealand and extend service to Port Villa.
Air Niugini will commence direct flights between Port Moresby and Townsville, the largest city in Northern Queensland this month.