14 Apr 2005

PNG charter to bypass Brisbane costs US$35,000

3:17 pm on 14 April 2005

Reports from Papua New Guinea say the prime minister's charter flight to New Caledonia today may cost about 35,000 US dollars.

Sir Michael Somare has decided against flying via Australia because of disagreements over security checks at Brisbane airport.

Australia has refused to apologise over the way it treated Sir Michael despite repeated complaints by the PNG governments.

The prime minister has chartered a plane to fly via Solomon Islands to Noumea where is to be given an honorary doctorate tomorrow.

The Post Courier newspaper says the corporate jet will be parked in New Caledonia until Sunday when he is due to return to Port Moresby.