State owned airline, Air Niugini has spread its wings to the Federated States of Micronesia with an inaugural flight last week.
Air Niugini chairman Sir Frederick Reiher, led a delegation comprising director Sir Noel Levi, CEO Simon Foo and general manager commercials Dominic Kaumu to Pohnpei for discussions with the FSM Government and the Chamber of Commerce during its inaugural flight.
“The FSM President, His Excellency Peter Christian, handed to us the Foreign Air Carrier Permit formally approving the commencement of Air Niugini’s twice weekly commercial air services at the beginning of December this year,” Sir Frederick said.
He added that the strategy being implemented by Air Niugini will see Port Moresby become a major regional hub for travelers from FSM, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Australia travelling to PNG and beyond – including to Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila and Narita.
“The new routes under consideration include Shanghai (China), Jayapura (Indonesia), Townsville (North Queensland), Tarawa (Kiribati) and Majuro (Marshall Islands),” Sir Frederick said.
“The establishment of Port Moresby as a major regional air services hub will provide considerable economic benefits for Papua New Guinea, and it will also help boost our growing tourism industry in particular.”
The flight followed invitation by the FSM president to PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during the Pacific Island Forum held in Port Moresby last year.