The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia has thanked the Government of Papua New Guinea for connecting both countries through air services that will be operated by Air Niugini.
Assistant Secretary for Civil Aviation of the Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure, Massy Halbert, exclusively told EMTV News, this new flight route will strengthen trade links and provide more business opportunities. It will also promote a sense of “Pacificness” between both countries.
Mr Halbert also added that it was historical and both countries will work together to ensure this service is sustained.
“Absolutely, I will continue to do my part, so plans for December to begin the passenger schedule service can proceed.”
On September 1, Air Niugini began operating the special services to Chuuk and Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia.
There were 70 divers, and others, by chance were booked on flight PX 4072, operated by Boeing 737-700.
After 2 hours and 40 minutes, the Bird of Paradise touched down at Chuuk. From Chuuk, it took another hour to Pohnpei.
Air Niugini Chief Executive Officer, Simon Foo, says the partnership is about sharing costs involved in operating this service.
And industries like tourism will be promoted.
“It will be twice a week, from Port Moresby to Chuuk then Pohnpei and back the next day,” he said.
This service saves time and cost, a passenger, Quinton Devlin who works in the Solomon Islands, told EMTV News, it now only takes three hours to Pohnpei rather than connecting through different countries.
“From Honiara, this is the best route with less time,” he said
It’s always a privilege for operating crews, like Ethel Samlai, because normally they are randomly selected.
“I am very privileged and I thank Air Niugini for selecting the team which I was part of,” she said.
Mr Foo says the establishment of this direct service from Papua New Guinea to the Federated States of Micronesia represents a major expansion of Air Niugini in the Pacific and for Port Moresby to become the Pacific’s hub in the aviation industry.