High hopes for PNG-Townsville relationship

Just 19 weeks away from PNG’s national elections, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is confident nothing will change.

PM O’Neill was in high spirits as he led the PNG delegation on the first ever direct flight from Port Moresby to Townsville, Australia, via Air Niugini, on Friday.

Air Niugini made its inaugural flight direct from Port Moresby into Townsville, and this direct service will provide the opportunity for convenient travel among business and educational opportunities, says the Prime Minister.

“About two years ago I visited Townsville, I made that commitment to try and encourage Air Niugini to fly here,” said the PM.

“I know that many of the folks here, as well as business community, will continue to enjoy this service.

“We hope it’ll grow from strength to strength.”

O’Neill said Townsville’s business sector already has a strong presence in PNG.

“I know that, that presence is a long term one.

“Many businesses like Curtain Brothers and YWAM continue to provide for our citizens in Papua New Guinea.”

He hopes that these services, among others, will help strengthen the PNG-Townsville relationship.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Air Niugini Board, Sir Frederick Reiher, said to assist residents in Townsville and PNG, Air Niugini has on offer competitive air travel and accommodation packages that will enable tourists to explore PNG, starting with the cultural aspects right across the nation.

Papua New Guineans living in Townsville flocked the airport to give the inaugural flight and its passengers a true PNG welcome.

Sophie Yaruso