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PNG's Airline Air Niugini Commences Inaugural Services to Palau

Air Niugini commenced weekly services connecting Australia, Papua New Guinea and Palau yesterday, Tuesday 28th February 2023. 

A small delegation comprising airline staff and PNG aviation regulators were part of the inaugural service on the airline’s Boeing 767 aircraft which departed Port Moresby at 8pm and arrived at Palau’s Roman Tmetuchl International airport at 11:30pm. 

On arrival the aircraft was greeted with a water salute to mark the arrival of the first flight, followed by a warm welcome reception at the airport.

Air Niugini, in partnership with the Australian government is serving this route under the Australian government’s Pacific Flight Programme which underwrites flights during the initial establishment phase. 

The airline’s General Manager, Commercial Mr Paul Abbot acknowledged the collective efforts of the Australian Government and all stakeholders in supporting the first flight. 

“We look forward to working with the Chamber of Commerce, the Palau Visitors Authority and all stake holders here to promote the route and showcase what Palau can provide in terms of tourism and hospitality products”. 

 “We see real benefit to Palau with access from the Australian market to help    re-build their tourism business and the cargo uplift of the B767 will be of immense value to the many businesses in Palau looking to import goods. With everyone’s support, we hope to see more flights on this route in the future.” Mr Abbot said 

The Australian government’s Pacific Flight programme has supported over 450 flights in the Pacific since December 2020 and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic across 14 routes and 11 countries.  It has helped by keeping  Pacific communities connected, maintain supply chains and deliver critical medicines. The programme removes airlines’ commercial risk operating an agreed flight, assuring regular and scheduled flights for passengers and cargo.

Australia’s Ambassador to Palau, Ms Richelle Turner said through the Pacific Flights Program, Australia has underpinned air links across the region to support regional connectivity throughout the pandemic and they are pleased to see Air Niugini as connector between the Pacific, Australia and Asia. 

Port Moresby has emerged as a hub connecting Australia, Asia and the Pacific and Air Niugini’s flights are strategically placed to offer that one stop connections in the market.

The weekly Brisbane/Port Moresby/Palau flights are operated by the airline’s Boeing 767 aircraft every Tuesday with the return flight arriving back in Brisbane on Wednesday morning.   

 Airfares between both Brisbane and Palau, and Port Moresby and Palau have been set to ensure Palau is a competitive destination for those looking for leisure destinations in the region other than Fiji, Bali and the like.  Palau remains one of the world’s most pristine environments and is a world-renowned dive destination.  

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