A mes­sage from Air Ni­ug­ini’s chair­man

Paradise - - Contents -

The di­rect air ser­vice be­tween Port Moresby and Townsville, which started on March 31, was marked with the warm­est wel­come pos­si­ble in Aus­tralia’s Trop­i­cal North.

I thank the mayor of Townsville, Jenny Hill, her coun­cil, Townsville Air­port, Townsville En­ter­prise, the Townsville Bul­letin news­pa­per, the busi­ness com­mu­nity, YWAM, and the sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of cit­i­zens drawn from the large ‘ex-PNG’ com­mu­nity in Townsville, and North Queens­land gen­er­ally.

I also thank the Air Ni­ug­ini man­age­ment team, and our in-flight and ground staff, who worked in co-op­er­a­tion with their coun­ter­parts in Townsville to make the first flight a mem­o­rable event.

We were priv­i­leged that the prime min­is­ter, Peter O’Neill, as well as the Min­is­ter for Cul­ture, Arts and Tourism and a del­e­ga­tion of gov­ern­ment, busi­ness and com­mu­nity lead­ers, were able to join us on the flight and the sub­se­quent en­gage­ments, where the good­will and hos­pi­tal­ity were so ev­i­dent.

The PM de­lighted the com­mu­nity on Palm Is­land, off the coast of Townsville with a pop­u­la­tion of about 3000, with his visit there at the in­vi­ta­tion of mayor Alf Lacey, who proudly an­nounced that Peter O’Neill was the first prime min­is­ter of any coun­try, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia, to visit the is­land com­mu­nity.

One im­por­tant as­pect of the new re­la­tion­ship be­tween PNG and Townsville is the op­por­tu­ni­ties it opens for the ‘ex-PNG’ com­mu­nity in and around Townsville.

It was a sur­prise to learn that this com­mu­nity num­bers more than 5000. Some are for­mer PNG cit­i­zens now res­i­dent in the city, while oth­ers are Aus­tralian cit­i­zens who had lived and worked in PNG.

The es­tab­lish­ment of reg­u­lar flights be­tween the two cities will be a boost for fam­ily re­unions, fam­ily hol­i­days and a range of other peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes, such as cul­tural events and sport­ing com­pe­ti­tions. Air Ni­ug­ini will of­fer af­ford­able air­fares to pro­vide as much sup­port as pos­si­ble for re­unions and wider com­mu­nity en­gage­ment.

As Air Ni­ug­ini plans fu­ture re­gional and in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion – to Shang­hai in China, and the Mar­shall Is­lands and Kiri­bati in the Pa­cific – we will draw on the suc­cess of the in­au­gu­ral ser­vice to Townsville, and the com­mu­nity and busi­ness en­gage­ment it is al­ready fa­cil­i­tat­ing.

Thank you, Townsville. I hope res­i­dents take the op­por­tu­nity to visit PNG and take ad­van­tage of our re­gional hub ser­vice based out of Jack­sons In­ter­na­tional Air­port, which of­fers ef­fi­cient and af­ford­able con­nec­tions to cities as di­verse as Sin­ga­pore, Manila, Hong Kong, Nar­ita, Bali, Ho­niara, Port Vila, Nadi, Chuuk and Pohn­pei.

Also con­tained in this is­sue is an ex­cel­lent fea­ture on a num­ber of the out­stand­ing tourism re­sorts in PNG, which are at the heart of our na­tion’s wide-rang­ing and grow­ing adventure tourism sec­tor.

The three des­ti­na­tions fea­tured are in the Hela, Western High­lands and East Sepik prov­inces. I urge read­ers to con­sider vis­it­ing these ex­cel­lent re­sorts, which high­light the rich diver­sity of the cul­tural and nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment that PNG has to of­fer.

Air Ni­ug­ini is proud of the con­tri­bu­tion it makes, as the na­tional air­line of PNG, to the de­vel­op­ment of our tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tors – a con­tri­bu­tion we con­tinue to en­hance.

I want to com­mend to our busi­ness clients the ex­cel­lent Busi­ness Travel Cen­tre now fully op­er­a­tional and lo­cated at Wa­ter­front Food­world in Port Moresby. Air Ni­ug­ini has de­vel­oped this travel agency to meet the travel, ac­com­mo­da­tion and other needs of our busi­ness clients.

Fi­nally, on be­half of the Air Ni­ug­ini fam­ily, I wel­come our se­cond group of cadet en­gi­neers, who will have re­turned home in April as qual­i­fied main­te­nance en­gi­neers with Euro­pean Avi­a­tion Safety Agency (EASA) li­cences.

En­joy your flight, and we look for­ward to wel­com­ing you back on board very soon.

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