National airline, Air Niugini will resume services to Daru airport, Western Province starting on Thursday 21st June 2012; this is twelve years after the airline ceased operations to the area due to deteriorated runway condition.
The decision to resume services was made after the completion of the upgrade work on the airport runway early this month.
Air Niugini Chief Executive Officer, Mr Wasantha Kumarasiri said the return of Air Niugini’services to Daru is timely as it coincides with the recent launch of major projects by PNG Sustainable Development Program including the upgrade of Daru airport facility.
“ As the national flag carrier, Air Niugini acknowledges PNGSDP for making it possible for the airline to bring services to the people of Papua New Guinea, in this case, the people of Western Province.” He said.
Apart from new projects, the return of Air Niugini’services provides an opportunity for buyers of fresh food produce in Daru to sell their products to markets in Port Moresby.
Western Province is known for its fresh valued barramundi and crocodile skins and other seafood like lobsters and prawns.
Mr Kumarasiri also said Air Niugini’s will ensure its airfares are competitive and affordable. The starting fares will be as low as K352.20 one way.
“We have this fare plus other fare levels already in the system and those intending to travel may do so by calling any Air Niugini Sales office or your preferred travel agent to arrange your travel. All travel will be from Thursday 21st June onwards”
Air Niugini will initially operate twice a week service to Daru, every Thursday and Sunday. The flight on Thursday departs Port Moresby at 8:30am and arrives at 09:40am. The return flight leaves Daru at 10:05am and arrives in Port Moresby at 11:15am. The flight on Sunday departs at 1:00pm, arriving in Daru at 2:10pm. The return flight arrives in Port Moresby at 3:45pm.
For now, Air Niugini will be using its Dash8-300 series to operate to Daru. The Dash 8-Q400 will come into operation once work on extending a further 200 metres on the runway is completed.