Air Niugini is to launch twice weekly air
services between Port Moresby and the Federated States of
Micronesia (FSM) from 3 December 2016.
To test the
market, three special flights have been planned to operate to FSM
before the scheduled passenger services commence.
of the three special flights operated last week on 1
September from Port Moresby to Chuuk and later Pohnpei before
returning to POM. It took 2hrs and 40 minutes to reach Chuuk and
an hour across to Pohnpei before coming back to POM.
passengers on board the flight were Australian divers; about 50 of
them who got off in Chuuk, the rest were individuals attending the
Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and businessmen based in Solomon
The next special flight will operate this
week on 7
September to uplift delegation for PIF.
Once the scheduled
passenger service comes into effect from December, Air Niugini
will be operating two return air services a week, every Wednesday
and Saturday from Port Moresby to Chuuk and Pohnpei.
The establishment of
direct commercial flights between PNG and FSM is a result of an
Air Services Agreement between the Governments of Papua New Guinea
and the Federated States of Micronesia.
The direct service
to FSM represents a major expansion of Air Niugini’s presence in
the Pacific region, and especially the role of Jacksons
International Airport as a major “hub” for the Pacific region.
These flights enable passengers between the Pacific, Australia,
Indonesia, Philippines and FSM to connect through Port Moresby,
saving considerable time and airfares.
upgrading of Jacksons international terminal by the National
Government has been a major factor in enabling Air Niugini to
expand the airline’s regional international services.
and departure, and transit facilities at the international terminal are now world standard and fully capable of handling a
significant increase in passenger numbers.
will work closely with the FSM government and the tourism industry
to promote the growing tourist opportunities that PNG and FSM
offer, including “stopover” and two-centre opportunities for
visitors to experience both countries.
Another major factor
enabling the establishment of direct regular services to FSM has
been the successful introduction of the Fokker 70 aircraft into
Air Niugini’s fleet as a central component of the K700 million
fleet upgrading and replacement program.
The F70 aircraft is
well suited to servicing regional routes – such as the FSM –
because of fuel efficiency, a longer flight range, a capability to
cruise at higher levels, and a passenger capacity that is more
suitable to meet the passenger demand.
Federated States of Micronesia is
located in the Northwestern Pacific. It is one of the most remote
and beautiful tourism spots in the world with a lot of activities
to offer. It is made up of 600 islands with Chuuk and Pohnpei, the
two most populated states.
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