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