28 Aug 2008

Promise of better air services in PNG

8:16 pm on 28 August 2008

There are expectations of improved service and lower fares when two airlines take on state-owned Air Niugini on Papua New Guinea's domestic and international routes in two months.

The Australian-based airline, Virgin Blue, is to team up with Airlines PNG, while Sky World is also to start services.

The PNG Transport and Civil Aviation Minister, Don Polye, says the government has agreed to allow foreign airlines to enter partnerships with PNG carriers to provide competitive fares.

He says the Government believes that transport is the key to development in PNG.

Our correspondent in PNG, Oseah Philemon, says Air Niugini has been plagued with problems for years.

"And also the fact that its airfares are very, very, high and that has been a concern to the travelling public in Papua New Guinea for a long time. Papua New Guineans have been saying that the Government should invite other airlines to come in and operate in the country, and take away this exclusive right that they seem to have given Air Niugini since its inception more than ten years ago."

Oseah Philemon