Link­ing the re­gion

PNG’S na­tional air­line is up­grad­ing its Asia-pa­cific con­nec­tions.

Business Advantage Papua New Guinea - - Infrastructure & Transport Aviation - By Sir Fred­er­ick Rei­her Sir Fred­er­ick Rei­her is Chair­man of Air Ni­ug­ini.

This year is shap­ing up as a busy and suc­cess­ful one for Air Ni­ug­ini. At the end of March, we com­menced twice-weekly ser­vices to Townsville, North Queens­land, and later in 2017 we will com­mence reg­u­lar ser­vices be­tween Port Moresby and Shang­hai.

The Townsville ser­vice will ben­e­fit our own busi­ness com­mu­nity, the tourism sec­tor, ed­u­ca­tion and fam­ily re­unions. It co­in­cides with new code­shar­ing ar­range­ments with Qan­tas on the Bris­bane and Sydney ser­vices.

The Shang­hai air link re­flects China’s de­vel­op­ment as an im­por­tant in­vest­ment and trad­ing part­ner with PNG, and an in­creas­ing source of tourism.

This year also marks the 75th an­niver­sary of the defin­ing bat­tles of World War 2. The most mem­o­rable bat­tle was the 1942 Bat­tle for Kokoda and in ac­knowl­edge­ment of that, Air Ni­ug­ini is nam­ing an air­craft Kokoda. Air Ni­ug­ini flies to Ja­pan with reg­u­lar ser­vices, and we have no­ticed a growth in Ja­panese tourism, much of it with links to World War 2.

In De­cem­ber 2016, we opened our first Busi­ness Travel Cen­tre, which re­flects the crit­i­cal im­por­tance Air Ni­ug­ini at­taches to our cor­po­rate clients. It of­fers tick­et­ing for all air­lines, ho­tel book­ings, rail book­ings, car hire book­ings and all the other ser­vices the modern-day cor­po­rate client de­mands.

Our first reg­u­lar twice-weekly ser­vice to the Fed­er­ated States of Mi­crone­sia (FSM) be­gan last De­cem­ber, and took more than 1300 book­ings in the first five months. Many of these pas­sen­gers are orig­i­nat­ing from over­seas coun­tries tak­ing ad­van­tage of the new ‘Jack­sons hub’ fa­cil­ity to travel be­tween their home coun­tries and FSM via Port Moresby.

Our ca­pac­ity to main­tain ser­vices has been greatly strength­ened by the out­stand­ing suc­cess of our sub­sidiary air­line, Link PNG, which we es­tab­lished three years ago to meet the spe­cific needs of com­mu­ni­ties in re­mote and dis­tant ar­eas.

Sir Fred­er­ick Rei­her

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