Minister for Trade, Commerce &Industry Richard Maru has slammed those responsible for frustrating efforts by a Philippines airline to get landing rights.
Last year, Cebu Pacific Air was granted rights to operate three hundred seats between Manila and Port Moresby but Cebu said this capacity was limited, sothey sought approval for an additional two hundred and forty seats on an extra-bilateral basis. To this day,their request has not been granted.
Minister Maru was clearly outraged concerningthe delay in PNG rsquo;s response to Cebu Pacific, requesting approval for an increase intheir airline capacity.
Maru’said Air Niugini has single-handedly dominated air transportation for a long time and as a consequence,the public has coped expensive airfares. He saidthe government is now committed to introducing more competition to reducethe cost of air travel currently faced by Papua New Guineas.
Mr. Maru’showed a letter dated 13th of March 2013 by Cebu Pacific Air director for External Affairs tothe Philippines Ambassador tPNG outliningtheir concerns. It’said Cebu Pacific has plans to operate twice a week between Manila and Port Moresby; howeverthe lack of response has delayedtheir plans.
Cebu Pacific also filed an application for operating permit with Civil Aviation and Safety Authority in Novermber last year. They believethey have undertaken all necessary steps to enable it to operate and look forward tPNG’s cooperation onthe expansion of traffic rights.
Mr. Maru’said our national flag carrier Air Niugini charges one ofthe highest airfares inthe world for both international and domestic routes. He saidthe high airfare isthe biggest obstacle tothe growth ofthe Tourism Sector, which should bethe largest industry in Papua New Guinea
Delly Begu, National EMTV News