23 Nov 2016

PNG airline approved for Mt Hagen to Jayapura service

11:09 am on 23 November 2016
Jayapura Harbour, Papua Province, Indonesia.

Jayapura Harbour, Papua Province, Indonesia. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The Papua New Guinea airline PNG Air has been given the green light to commence flights to Jayapura in neighbouring Indonesia.

PNG's National Civil Aviation Minister told EMTV News that the government is satisfied with PNG Air's proposal to operate between Mt Hagen and the capital of Indonesia's Papua province.

Davis Steven said the service was sustainable and would bring many benefits to the airline operator, people and governments of both countries.

PNG Air's Chief Commercial Officer, Paul Abbot, revealed the airline plans to start a tri-weekly service in February next year.

He said it had been a long time in the planning and should bring benefits in business and tourism.

PNG's national carrier Air Niugini indicated earlier this year that it was also considering re-introducing a service to Jayapura.

Direct flights to Indonesia's Papua region were discontinued in the 1990s.

In the interim, Papua New Guineans looking to travel to Jayapura had the option of onerous flights to Jakarta and then back to New Guinea, or by travelling by road from the PNG town of Vanimo near the border.

Last December, Indonesia's government relaxed tourist travel requirements to allow Papua New Guineans visa-free access to Indonesia.