The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia has formally approved the Foreign Air Carrier Permit to Papua New Guinea’s national airline operator, Air Niugini, to operate its flight services.
The Foreign Air Carrier Permit allows Air Niugini to operate its twice weekly commercial air services starting on December.
President of the Federated States of Micronesia, Peter Christian, while handing over the permit, described this agreement as a practical sign of how co-operation between the Pacific Islands Forum members works, for the real benefit of member countries.
President Christian says he will further discuss with Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, during this week’s Forum meeting in Pohnpei.
President Christian was officiating during a meeting held last week between the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Chamber of Commerce with the Air Niugini delegation, led by board chairman, Sir Frederick Reiher, director Sir Noel Levi, Chief Executive Officer, Simon Foo and General Manager Commercials, Dominic Kaumu.
The meeting occurred after Air Niugini made its special flight services to the Federated States of Micronesia.
President Christian said the FSM Government and the business community is fully supporting Air Niugini, for this service to continue.
The FSM Government has chosen Air Niugini to provide regular services, given that Port Moresby will be the Pacific’s leading regional hub and with a lesser traveling time to other Pacific island nations.
Sir Frederick said Air Niugini will work closely with the FSM Government, to ensure the new service is a success.
“Air Niugini will work closely with the FSM Government, and its business community, including its tourism sector, to ensure the new service is a success, and particularly helps develop the island nation’s significant tourism potential,”
“The new service will also strengthen relations between PNG and FSM, and add to PNG’s growing leadership role and participation in the Pacific.”
Sir Frederick said his delegation’s visit was the result of the discussions between the FSM President and PNG Prime Minister at the 2015 Pacific Forum Meeting, held in Port Moresby during which the President invited Air Niugini to establish a regular air service between PNG and FSM.
“I am delighted that the President and his government responded positively to our request, and have agreed to provide a firm response when the financial year begins in October.”
Meanwhile, Sir Frederick says the new routes under consideration include Shanghai-China, Jayapura-Indonesia, Townsville-North Queensland-Australia, Tarawa-Kiribati and Majuro-Marshall Islands.
This is a major expansion of Air Niugini’s presence in the Asia-Pacific.
Sir Frederick said the strategy being implemented by Air Niugini will see Port Moresby become a major regional hub for travellers from FSM, Solomons, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Australia travelling to PNG and beyond – including to Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila and Narita.
“The further development of services that will add to the effectiveness of the regional hub is under active consideration by the Board and Management of Air Niugini.”
“The establishment of Port Moresby as a major regional air services hub will provide considerable economic benefits for Papua New Guinea, and it will also help boost our growing tourism industry in particular.”
“Providing more air service connections at Jacksons International expands the economic benefits of the airport’s operations to the wider community, including airport service providers and our tourism and hospitality sectors. As this important regional network develops it will help keep downward pressure on domestic travel costs for Air Niugini customers and the general public,” Sir Frederick said.