Air Niugini keen to make POM, Pacific hub

AIR Niugini is determined to make Port Moresby the hub of the Pacific, and its subsidiary firm, Link PNG is an integral part of this plan.

This was from Air Niugini’s general manager – customers and markets, Dominic Kaumu, during a meeting the airline held with the business community in Madang.

Kaumu was in Madang with Link PNG general manager, Bruce Alabaster to give the business community an update on its general business operations and future plans.

“Link PNG’s vision is very important for the mother company as it feeds passengers from the remote areas, who are picked up by Air Niugini for the main domestic ports and also the overseas leg of travel.

“We are connecting Asia, Australia, PNG and the Pacific from Port Moresby’s Jackson’s International airport. We recently launched services to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Townsville, we should commence services to Shanghai, China by March next year.

“We have also increased frequencies to Townsville, Cairns, Singapore, FSM, Manila, Port Villa and Honiara. The operations by our subsidiary company compliments Air Niugini’s vision.”

“We are upgrading seats on our Boeing fleet and enhanced feature on the Fokker 70/100 aircraft to ensure comfort and convenience for our passengers,”Kaumu said.   The private sector representatives were also told Air Niugini is on a planned Customer Service programme.

This is to improve services throughout the domestic network including the opening of new executive club lounges and improvement of the current ones.

In terms of flights the business representatives were told, for Madang passengers, there are two Air Niugini and Link PNG flights in a day with connections to and from 53 Air Niugini international destinations in a week.

Meanwhile, Air Niugini and its subsidiary company, Link PNG held a meeting with representatives of their business partners in Madang.

The purpose was to update the business community on the airline’s general business operations as well as future plans.

Representing the firm at this meeting were Link PNG general manager, Bruce Alabaster and Air Niugini’s general manager- customers and markets, Dominic Kaumu.

Alabaster said Link PNG a Dash 8 operator, is focused on providing safe and cost effective air travel to the regional towns, cities and the resource industry.

Besides its existing routes, he said Link PNG is working closely with the airport authority and provincial governments to have several other airports upgraded so that they could allow Dash 8 to operate to these communities.

“It is a core part of our mission to serve these routes on a community service obligation, ensuring that not only are remote and less profitable services maintained, but progressively expanded to meet the growing transport needs of the people.

“We work hard to ensure regular, safe and affordable services to these remote parts where patronage is less than the main domestic routes but are just as important for the traveling public.”

Link PNG currently operates services to Tari, Moro, Komo, Mendi, Wapenamanda, Tabubil, Goroka, Madang, Wewak, Vanimo, Rabaul, Hoskins, Kiunga, Daru, Lihir, Kieta, Bulolo and Popondetta.

Kaumu said with the current focus on making Port Moresby the hub of the Pacific, Link PNG’s vision is very important for the mother company as it feeds passengers from the remote areas, who are picked up by Air Niugini for the main domestic ports and also the overseas leg of travel.

“The operations by our subsidiary company compliments Air Niugini’s vision,” Kaumu said.   President of the Madang Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Murray said the meeting was informative.

“It ensures customers are better informed so that they can make right decisions when traveling.