Air Niugini will now provide hundreds of Papua New Guinean residents in Townsville, business houses and tourists a chance to explore both worlds, fitting for sister cities, with the introduction of direct flights from Port Moresby to Townsville. The flights are currently scheduled two days a week, Monday and Friday.
Townsville based PNG residens in Australia, say with the link now open they will be able to travel direct to visit loved ones in PNG and also be able to bring their families back to Townsville for holidays, or even to watch a North Queensland Cowboys game.
The opportunity provided will also open doors for families to send their children to Townsville for education, and University studies. Main areas of benefits for the two cities will be health, education and business.
Sports will also play a huge role with the direct service as PNG residents can fly direct to watch their teams play in Townsville, and other events that will occur in the near future.
Chairman of Air Niugini, Sir Frederick Reiher, said with the growing number of Papau New Guinean’s in Townsville, the success of the service will depend on many facets, but the people to people link between the two cities will be foremost among many.
He said, with the success of the flight, travel in the future between Townsville and Port Moresby will be looked at, to see a more frequent service on a daily basis to meet the demands of the people.
Townsville Enterprise CEO, Patricia O’ Callaghan, said the direct trip to Townsville from Port Moresby will help both countries economically, provide business opportunities and create relationships where both cities can grow and work together.
PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, said the Air Niugini service to Townsville will give opportunity to families and students living and studying in Townsville to fly home direct.
At the same time O’Neill has encouraged Australians to travel to Papua New Guinea, via Port Moresby, and experience the true culture and diversity of the country.
As part of the sister cities relationship, Townsville is happy to work in partnership with NCDC in making sure that business, travel and exchange of sporting activities grow, expand and benefit the two cities.
Air Niugini will offer competitive air travel and accommodation packages that will enable tourists to visit PNG, in the long run.