Air Niugini to begin flight services to Pohnpei and Chuuk in December
- Category: News
- Published: Tuesday, 04 October 2016 13:22
- Written by Kpress
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September 3, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—The arrival of an Air Niugini flight in Chuuk and in Pohnpei last week was not the “maiden” voyage of the new airline service to the FSM, but that is coming in December of this year. The flight that arrived last week was a charter flight for the Pacific Islands Forum meetings.
According to “The National”, formal approval has been given to Air Niugini by the Federated States of Micronesia President Peter Christian to operate commercial flights between the two countries.
Air Niugini board chairman Sir Frederick Reiher led a management team on the airline’s first flight to the FSM states of Chuuk and Pohnpei.
Sir Frederick said the visit was the result of the discussions between the FSM President and Prime Minister Peter O’Neil during the 2015 Pacific Forum Meeting in Port Moresby. Air Niugini was invited to start a regular air service to FSM.
“President Christian described this agreement with Air Niugini and PNG as a sign of how co-operation between the Pacific Islands Forum members works for the real benefit of member countries,” Sir Frederick told “The National”.
“So that the financial risks associated with a new international service can be managed, Air Niugini has asked the FSM Government to share the risk involved in establishing this new air service.
“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, Sir Frederick told The National.
General Manager Customers and Markets, Mr Dominic Kaumu very quickly told The Kaselehlie Press that Air Niugini has no plans to ever service Guam. Instead the airline will serve as a direct link between the North and South Pacific without the need to transit in Guam. He said that the flight to Port Morseby is two hours and 40 minutes from Chuuk. From Jacksons International Airport (POM) outside of Port Moresby, customers will have access to the rest of the world.
He said that FSM citizens will be able to get a visa on arrival in POM.
He said that Air Niugini operates 28 planes and the company is 53 years old.