480,000 passengers travel on flights in and out of PNG annually

About 480,000 international passengers travel on flights in and out of Papua New Guinea every year, reveals Transport Secretary Roy Mumu.

Statistical data from the Department of Transport (DoT) on scheduled international passenger traffic to and from Port Moresby from 2012 to 2016 has been stagnant at an average of about 480,000 passengers per year.

Mumu explained that this is an average of 55 percent seat utilisation, meaning there is excess capacity in the market.

Mumu revealed this at the Southwest Pacific Dialogue (SwPD) 2nd Sub-Regional Workshop on connectivity development underway in Port Moresby.

The SwPD aims to facilitate the exchange of views between the Foreign Ministers of the participating countries, New Zealand, Australia, Timor-Leste, PNG, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“It is considered that PNG has thin markets on its international routes which do not warrant introduction of a fully relaxed environment.

“Therefore PNG must take an approach to grow the market and support our national airline to be able to compete in an open market.

“It is evident that most of our bilateral partners have not taken up their traffic rights under the ASA’s with the exception of Australia and the Philippines because of the thin markets,” Mumu said.

Mumu added that in terms of public private partnership, the determination of route structures, capacity entitlements, traffic rights and cooperative arrangements under the Air Service Agreements’ is done in full consultation with the airline industry and relevant government agencies.

Quintina Naime