10 Jan 2011

PNG's Bougainville air services to resume after 22-year break

7:32 am on 10 January 2011

A service to restore internal air transport within the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville is expected to be up and running within two to four weeks.

The Bougainville President's office says the province has been without a domestic air service since 1989.

Its chief of staff, Kevin Marimyas, says the initiative is part of the goal of President John Momis to restore many services the province has been without for too long.

Mr Marimyas says the private company, National Air Services, will provide the service in a joint venture arrangement with the government, which will buy shares in the company.

He says the much needed service should begin once airstrips are readied

"Most of the form of transport at the moment is either sea transport, big vessels, rigger boats or outboard motors and we'd like to change that so people travel a little bit more in comfort rather than travelling in those oily boats or bumpy roads."

Kevin Marimyas says people have little money at the moment but he believes they will opt for air transport as it will be quicker.